Commentary on the Gospel of
Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
The Book of Job is one of my favorite books of the bible. Job is the genre of Wisdom literature and as such we do not know who wrote it or even if Job is an actual person. In the reading today Job had already met many trials and his life is in ruins. Despite this, Job still understands that God is the giver of all things.
For myself I need to keep this in mind. As life progresses I have met many challenges along the way and in the end know that only my reliance upon God brings me peace of mind. This happened sometimes without a true understanding of God’s plan for me. Job had the same experience but took on his tragedies and still did not lose faith. The Psalm has a simiilar theme. The author calls upon God daily but feels confusion with the lack of response, in the same way Job did.
The Gospel reading at first appears to have a harsh tone. As I read on, it gives me a different sense. The first man promises to “follow you wherever you go.” The commitment here is a physical assurance to a place or destination, not to actually follow Jesus’ call to change my life. I have to internally ask whether I am committed to following Christ in all he asks of me. Do I really buy into a Christocentric life style? The other two requests for delay seem perfectly reasonable from Jesus’ followers. Yet Christ’s response appears harsh. In my mind I take Jesus’ response to mean that he is really asking how committed I am to him. Internally, I need to ask myself if something or someone is taking me from following Christ’s message. Am I willing to give up whatever stands in the way of following Christ? If the truth be told, I have had diversions throughout my whole life. Do I or did I, as the saying goes, “put God first, others second, myself third?” As I progress along my spiritual journey the distractions become less and I am more easily able to look forward to the Kingdom of God plowing forward not backward to the crooked furrows.