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October 02, 2020

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: ‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began,    and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,    and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal,    and it is dyed* like a garment. Light is withheld from the wicked,    and their uplifted arm is broken. ‘Have you entered into the springs of the sea,    or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you,    or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?    Declare, if you know all this. ‘Where is the way to the dwelling of light,    and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory    and that you may discern the paths to its home? Surely you know, for you were born then,    and the number of your days is great! And the Lord said to Job: ‘Shall a fault-finder contend with the Almighty?*    Anyone who argues with God must respond.’   I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer;    twice, but will proceed no further.’ New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Recognizing ourselves as children

I often come back to the image of God as a parent. Sometimes this image is helpful – God is a comforter, a protector, a teacher, a mentor. I see this play out in watching my friends parent their young children. Recently I’ve been coming back to the image of God as parent and myself as toddler (which helps not to take myself so seriously). I’ll tell God how the world works, or what God should do to be fair, with the sure authority of a three-year-old. And God will look at me, like a parent trying to keep a straight face when their child is unintentionally hilarious, and say, “Oh, that’s not how this works at ALL, but you’re cute. I sure do love you.”

This second image seems to be how God responds to Job in the first reading. “Job, that’s not how any of this works. Were you there when I created the world, that you think you know better?” Job realizes that he wasn’t there, and he doesn’t know better than God. He gains humility; he is creation, not Creator. And it is that humility that Jesus asks of us in today’s Gospel (Mt 18: 1-5, 10): the attitude not the self-assured toddler, but the child who knows that their divine Parent cares for them.

Molly Mattingly is the Director of Music Ministry at St. John’s Parish and Creighton University Campus Ministry.

 

Prayer

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down you are before me:
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

For you created me and shaped me,
Gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.

Verses 1 and 5 of “O God, You Search Me” by Bernadette Farrell © 1992


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October 02, 2020

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: ‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began,    and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,    and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal,    and it is dyed* like a garment. Light is withheld from the wicked,    and their uplifted arm is broken. ‘Have you entered into the springs of the sea,    or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you,    or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?    Declare, if you know all this. ‘Where is the way to the dwelling of light,    and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory    and that you may discern the paths to its home? Surely you know, for you were born then,    and the number of your days is great! And the Lord said to Job: ‘Shall a fault-finder contend with the Almighty?*    Anyone who argues with God must respond.’   I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer;    twice, but will proceed no further.’ New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Recognizing ourselves as children

I often come back to the image of God as a parent. Sometimes this image is helpful – God is a comforter, a protector, a teacher, a mentor. I see this play out in watching my friends parent their young children. Recently I’ve been coming back to the image of God as parent and myself as toddler (which helps not to take myself so seriously). I’ll tell God how the world works, or what God should do to be fair, with the sure authority of a three-year-old. And God will look at me, like a parent trying to keep a straight face when their child is unintentionally hilarious, and say, “Oh, that’s not how this works at ALL, but you’re cute. I sure do love you.”

This second image seems to be how God responds to Job in the first reading. “Job, that’s not how any of this works. Were you there when I created the world, that you think you know better?” Job realizes that he wasn’t there, and he doesn’t know better than God. He gains humility; he is creation, not Creator. And it is that humility that Jesus asks of us in today’s Gospel (Mt 18: 1-5, 10): the attitude not the self-assured toddler, but the child who knows that their divine Parent cares for them.

Molly Mattingly is the Director of Music Ministry at St. John’s Parish and Creighton University Campus Ministry.

 

Prayer

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down you are before me:
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

For you created me and shaped me,
Gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.

Verses 1 and 5 of “O God, You Search Me” by Bernadette Farrell © 1992


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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