Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?” Job’s lament resounds from ancient times into the present day, uttered even by many who are unaware that their personal existential angst reflects a far more profound mystery linked to our human condition. Often in our day, this lament can be a manner by which people rail against God, whether consciously or implicitly. This takes on a new poignancy these days in the rants of those who accuse a God whom they claim does not exist.
God will respond to Job’s questions not so much by providing simple answers, as by questioning Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth… when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4a,7). God’s response points to his own work in creation, which leads Job to breathless wonder and awe-filled praise. Already in creation, we witness the grandeur of God, who heals the brokenhearted.
God’s final answer is given in the new man whom we encounter in Mark’s Gospel: Jesus himself. As the Father delights in creation, so one can sense the Son’s delight as he embarks upon his mission, healing late into the night before rising in the wee hours to rest in that intimacy with the Father only experienced in prayer. In Christ, God reveals the inexhaustible fullness of his grandeur and of the grandeur God offers us. The eternally begotten Son is the one who becomes weak, as one of us, to win over the weak. He is broken for the brokenhearted and thereby manifests fully the love that had always been present from the beginning of God’s creation. The Son, broken and given to us, is God’s answer to our accusations. If we hold anything against God, let us not rail against an anonymous god of our own imagining, but instead face the God who not only gives us all things, but also gives us himself.