Saturday, March 9, 2013

Job 29-30 and Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians 3-5

Job 29 – Job reminisces about his blessed past “when God’s company graced my tent” (29:4).  “The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. . . . Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming” (29:5-8).

“All who saw me spoke well of me. For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. . . Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban” (29:11-14).

“I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help. . . . I thought, ‘Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life. For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew.’” (29:16-19)

Job 30 – But now Job is disdained and derided by young and old. “I live in terror now. My honor has blown away in the wind, and my prosperity has vanished like a cloud. . . now my life seeps away. Depression haunts my days. At night my bones are filled with pain” (30:15-17).

God “has thrown me into the mud. I’m nothing more than dust and ashes I cry out to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look. You have become cruel toward me. You use your power to persecute me” (30:19-21).

My heart is troubled and restless. Days of suffering torment me. I walk in gloom, without sunlight. I stand in the public square and cry for help. Instead, I am considered a brother to jackals and a companion to owls. My skin has turned dark, and my bones burn with fever. My harp plays sad music, and my flute accompanies those who weep” (27-31).

Ignatius to the Philadelphians
3 – Jesus Christ tends those plants, which are the Father’s. But there are “plants” out there that are not the Father’s and these plants must be avoided. “If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

4 – “Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons . . .”

5 – Ignatius says that he is greatly “enlarged in loving you” [Philadelphians]. Their prayers for him are much appreciated. He praises the prophets too “because they too have proclaimed the Gospel, and placed their hope in Him, and waited for Him; in whom also believing, they were saved, through union to Jesus Christ, being holy men worthy of love and admiration. . . .”

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