Job 9:1-13,14-16, Ps. 88:10-15, Luke 9:57-62

“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Today, we continue our reading of the book of Job; the story of a just man who despite his righteousness, experienced great sorrow and pain for no fault of his. In today’s passage, Job responds to his friends who are of the opinion that Job’s ordeals were a punishment from God for his sins.

Even in the time of Jesus, many considered misfortunes as signs of God’s wrath. Jesus and his disciples saw a man who was born blind and they asked Jesus: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). In another instance, Jesus was told about the Galileans who were brutally murdered by Pilate.

Some were wondering how many sins these Galileans committed to suffer such painful deaths. To their surprise, Jesus said: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-3) 

That is to say, even though it is true that “the wages of sin is death” (i.e. Romans 6:33), God does not treat us according to our sins. As the Psalmist would say: “If you O Lord should mark our guilt, who would survive?” Having done a thorough examination of conscience, Job declared: “How can a man be just before God?” In other words, no one can ever say he or she is without sin. At the same time, no one can accuse God of being unfair or unjust.

Coming to our Gospel passage, we hear Jesus saying to a man who wanted to bid farewell to his family before answering the call to ministry: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Jesus would say: “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27).

Following Jesus is not an easy road. Tough times are guaranteed. As we saw in the case of Job, there are so many things that we would face that we just cannot understand but once we have said “yes” to God, there should be no turning back. Faith, just like love requires a certain degree of blindness; that is placing our trust completely in God instead of questioning Him as to why this is this and that is that.

To the one who opted to follow Jesus on his own, Jesus warned him: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58). Surely, there are so many good things we get to enjoy for being Christians but our worship of God should not be predicated on these things. We are Christians not because of what we stand to gain from God but because we Love God. As such, even when we don’t receive anything or when misfortunes come our way, we must remain faithful.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living Father, give me the courage to remain steadfast in tough times. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of week 26 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Job 9:1-13,14-16, Ps. 88:10-15, Luke 9:57-62).

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu