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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament

Welcoming Death

Submitted by on Tuesday, 30 September 2008No Comment


Death is repulsive.  It is not something one wishes for.  Yet from the words of Job we encounter a sobering reality — a reality that we find in those who commit suicide:  that life can become so unbearable that death is sought after.

Why is light given to the toilers,
and life to the bitter in spirit?
They wait for death and it comes not;
they search for it rather than for hidden treasures…

In the Gospel reading from Luke,  we find Jesus “hardening the face” towards Jerusalem.  He has set his decision on Jerusalem and nothing, not even the resistance of the Samaritan, would stop him from his resolve.  He had earlier predicted the kind of fate he will undergo in David’s city, but he goes on to the city in obedience to the voice that He had heard during his baptism.  He goes to Death, knowing however, that there is a Resurrection.

Job is a man who has experienced evil — he has lost his children, his wealth, his health and his good fame.  But traditional wisdom could not answer the questions that arise out of that experience:  how could he suffer so much when he is not aware of any sin in himself that justifies that suffering.  The reader of Job of course knows that the Job’s suffering is due to a test.  Job doesn’t know this nor do his friends who have come to console him but end up debating with him and therefore failing in the purpose for which they’ve come in the first place.  He expresses a question that has never been asked before:  the possibility of the suffering of the innocent. 

Jesus though innocent will undergo the suffering that was meant for Adam’s sin.  The wages of sin is death, and He, the New Adam will undergo it.  Job’s plaint is that he suffers though innocent.  Yet he would later on in the book give expression to the hope in God’s vindication.  “I know” he cries out, “that my Redeemer lives!”  Jesus’ resurrection is the vindication of the just.  But before that comes, he must first drink the dregs from the cup of human suffering, making suffering and death itself salvific.


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