FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
From the Word of the Day
Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:
That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever!
As for me, I know that my vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust.
This will happen when my skin has been stripped off, and from my flesh I will see God:
I will see for myself, my own eyes, not another’s, will behold him: my inmost being is consumed with longing. (Job 19: 23-27)
For believers, today is not a day of sadness but of celebration, of faith and hope in the Resurrection of Christ who is still the background of the Liturgy of the Dead, like the color white for the feast of All Saints. Holy Mother Church reminds us of all His children that have crossed the threshold of eternity. Today is a day of prayer and remembrance of all our dear ones and gratitude for their lives.
In today’s Word, we listen to the cry of hope that comes from Job’s heart. “I know my Redeemer lives and he will at last stand forth upon the dust. This will happen when my skin has been stripped off and from my flesh I will see God: I will see for myself, my own eyes, not another’s will behold Him; my inmost being is consumed with longing”.
Job has been afflicted by a number of insupportable misfortunes and sufferings, but he does not accept the explanations of his friends and does not abandon his faith in God’s existence. His greatness lies precisely in this: he lives the strong tension between suffering and faith in God. He accepts his suffering and does not lose faith. He cannot accept a cruel, unjust God who is far away. It is from his attachment to God in spite of everything, that this moving cry comes from his heart. Tradition has seen his words as one of the most ancient testimonies of personal survival beyond the bodily decay of death.
The voice of the Liturgy
In Christ Your Son, our Savior, the hope of blessed resurrection shines forth and if we are saddened by the thought of death, we are consoled by the promise of future immortality. O Lord, grant that for Your faithful, life is not taken away but transformed; while the dwelling of this earthly exile is destroyed, an eternal dwelling is prepared in Heaven.
Istituto Maria Ausiliatrice, Via dell’Ateno Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Fr. Fernando Bergamelli, SDB