Exit This Job Interview with a Share in the Company

(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: https://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Mass-Blog-for-the-12th-Sunday-of-Ordinary-Time-2024.mp3)

Good jobs can be challenging. But the Job we read about in this Sunday’s first reading is challenged (Jb 38:1, 8-11). In the preceding chapters of Job’s Book, a critic tells Job to stop whining. Elihu calls him out for being self-righteous in his own riches while ignoring God’s righteous power and might—a God so powerful and mighty that “even the wise can’t see Him.”

Will your wealth equip you against distress, or all your exertions of strength?” Elihu asks. “Be careful; do not turn to evil.”

Like Job, we can all get too comfortable during good times and then complain when times turn bad. Elihu criticizes Job for challenging God about his recent perils because Job doesn’t have the vaguest idea of who he is in relation to his Maker. Job is caught being pompous and self-righteous. This Sunday’s reading from Chapter 38 is the Job interview for which he’s been waiting—but not ready.

“Who is this who darkens counsel with words of ignorance?,” God asks Job. “Gird up your loins now, like a man; I will question you, and you tell me the answers! Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.”

We can almost hear God calling Job a spoiled brat for his lack of faith.

God DOES end up saying virtually that to us in Sunday’s Gospel reading, using Jesus’s voice (Mk 4:35-41). If we could put ourselves in the disciples’ place, we might just cut Job some slack. That place is a leaky boat on a stormy sea. Remember, Job never saw God, but Jesus’s disciples lived with God in the flesh. They saw their Master do things no mortal could ever do. Nevertheless, they exhibit a Job-like lack of faith that God’s presence would see them through the storm. But unlike Job’s petulantly gutsy challenge to God, the disciples put on an amazing display of cowardice.

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” they ask Jesus. He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Faith in what?

Jesus challenges all mortals to own the faith that we share an immortal spiritual link to God. But the real challenge is to not claim it in a selfish way, as Job did while complaining to God as if addressing a peer. At the same time, God doesn’t want cowards who fear their own fragility. Our faith must rest in the unity in which all of humanity is called to share. Not an exclusive, selfish faith, but an inclusive one. As Paul reminds the Corinthians and us in Sunday’s second reading,

“He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation.” (2 Cor 5:14-17)

We are called to rise up out of our weak selfishness and into God’s strength in our numbers. We’re no longer Number One, but Number Three. Think of the Three Musketeers without the muskets—just the ears to hear, the eyes to see and the mouth to proclaim our unity in God’s eternal love. All in one and one in all.

–Tom Andel


  1. This post points out the obvious connection in our relationship with God, and our inability (for the most part) to come to terms with our obligation and life mission assignment and how Christ makes it all possible.

    We deserve nothing! We had no say in the creation of our life, where we would land, who our family would be, our physical, mental, or emotional make up. We had zero input in these essential realities, yet here we are attempting to navigate our life journey. Most people think it’s up to themselves to manage this responsibility–on their own.

    That couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Go with God or go it alone?

    • Agreed! We deserve nothing. No one deserves God’s gifts. We are graced with them. Grace comes with an obligation to do something with God’s gifts. Those gifts are still God’s, just as the talents doled out by the Master to his servants in Jesus’s parable of the talents are His (Matthew 25 and Luke 19). Those talents are distributed according to the Master’s knowledge of each servant’s ability to invest and multiply them. The one servant who let fear keep him from investing his Master’s talent (and bury it instead) was deemed wicked and lazy. Life is about investment. Our invitation to go with God is like the job appraisal the two successful servants in that parable receive: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.” Our life can’t be lived alone. God shares it with us whether we like it or not. What will we share with God–joy or disappointment?

  2. “Think of the Three Musketeers without the muskets—just the ears to hear, the eyes to see and the mouth to proclaim our unity in God’s eternal love. All in one and one in all.”

    Really like the way you summed it up, Tom

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