A few months before graduating from university, I started looking for a job and after several months, I was still jobless. One day at home, I came across my old Bible from high school and decided to pick it up. I remembered vaguely there was a portion in the Bible called Job. I read it, sarcastically, hoping I could find an answer on why I could not get a job. As I read it, I found myself agreeing with Job. Then I reached Chapter 38 where God responded to Job’s arguments. The first question he asked Job was: who is this obscuring my designs with his empty-headed words?… where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? As God answered Job, I realized God does not have to answer to me – because he is God. As I reached the end of the Book, which is the First Reading today, I agreed with what Job said I am the man who obscured your designs with my empty-headed words. I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand, on marvels beyond me and my knowledge… I knew you then only by hearsay; but now, having seen you with my own eyes, I retract all I have said, and in dust and ashes I repent.
God can do whatever he wants and it is not mine to ask why. God is not accountable to me. God showed me who he is by showing me who I was. My questions were empty-headed. Who am I to demand God for an answer? Shortly after, I got a job in a field different from the course I took in university. But it started a fruitful career that allowed me to come to Canada. That experience taught me what the Psalm says: it is good for me that I was humbled, so that I might learn your statutes. In my case, not only did I learn God’s statutes, I saw a glimpse of God which made me decide to repent and turn back to him years later.
Through the years, God has been faithful in sufferings and defeats, revealing himself through his Son Jesus Christ who says in the Gospel, No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Jesus Christ reveals his Father in whatever situation we have, especially when we are suffering or searching, or questioning or making sense of our lives. If we are searching for answers, we are searching for God.
Jesus said in the Gospel: All things have been handed over to me by my Father. If I want answers to my questions, I come to Jesus. This mass gives us this opportunity to surrender our situation to Jesus and ask him to enter our life. He may not answer the question “why”, but he will reveal his Father. And that is all that matters because when we have the Father, we have infinitely more than enough.
Isaiah 64 begins with a prayer, asking God to tear out heaven and come down, to melt the mountains by his presence, that his name will be made known to his enemies. It also says When you shall do wonderful things, we shall not bear them: you came down and at your presence the mountains melt away. Our life may be in ruin. Our life may be in chaos and full of uncertainties. But God is the only certainty in life because he is the same yesterday, today and forever. And when we repent and turn to him, our perspective of these uncertainties is transformed from seeing them as God abandoning us to signs that God is moving mightily in our lives, burning away what is not him, melting the mountains we cannot climb, shaking and destroying what is shakable so that what remains are those built on the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. The chaos will still be there, the uncertainties will still be there, but the good news is Jesus will also be there with us. And when Jesus is with us, we do not need to be afraid because he can do all things. He wants to enter your life, to transform it, to make it new, to make you share in his glory. But he will not act until we invite him into our lives.
Surrender your life to him. Be still and know he is God and see the wonderful and awesome things he will do in your life, things beyond your wildest dreams because he is your Heavenly Father who loves you and he wants you to share in his life and glory. To him be glory and honor and power, now and forever.