Job and Psalm 22 reflect the cries of the confident. But sometimes our darkness is more our own doing. The living and active sword of God’s word calls us to faithfulness; it calls us to endurance; and it shows us the ways in which we have failed.

At times, the heaviness we experience is less a matter of injustice than the just chastisement of a father who disciplines those whom he loves. Since we will have to give an account to God for what we have done, our experiences of pain and suffering can remind us of our need to cling to God’s love and that of our neighbors.

The message of Hebrews paints a magnificent portrait of grace. Immediately after holding up before us the inescapable eye of the God to whom we must give an account, the letter reissues the invitation to approach the throne of God—not as a judgment bench but as a throne of grace and a source of help. Crying out and lamenting before God, seeking help and deliverance and justice—these are not simply the postures of the righteous who demand that God repay in kind; they are also the postures of the sinners who demand that God repay in Christ.

Whether as champions of justice or as petitioners who desire grace, we come before God in time of need. In both cases we require God’s intervention to transform this world so that God’s kingdom will come, God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We can be pulled away from our faith in different directions. Whether frustrated with God or frustrated with self, the same, transformative offer of help is extended to us by the crucified and risen Christ who knows our suffering and the triumph over it, who knows our weakness and temptation and also the life without sin.

Father in heaven, draw us to your light whatever the cause of our darkness, and allow us to find in you grace to help in times of need. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 10:17-31

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Lectionary Week
October 4–10, 2021
Scripture Overview

Faithful people still have questions for God. Job wishes he could sit down with God and plead his case because he wants God to justify what has happened to him. The psalmist also feels abandoned by God and wonders why God is not coming to his aid. God can handle our questions. Job wanted an advocate, and Hebrews says that Jesus now fills that role for us. He is our great high priest and understands our sufferings, so we may boldly approach him for help. In Mark, Jesus deals with the challenge of money. It is a powerful force and can come between us and God if we cling to our resources instead of holding them loosely with thanksgiving for God’s provision.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Job 23:1-9, 16-17. When have you, like Eliphaz, attributed your own suffering or that of others to wickedness on your part or on theirs? How often do you find yourself blaming others for the situations in which they find themselves?
Read Psalm 22:1-15. How could your prayer life be more honest and transparent? What feelings do you hold back?
Read Hebrews 4:12-16. When God shines the spotlight on your soul, what does God see?
Read Mark 10:17-31. How do you square your “wealthy” life with Jesus’ call to discipleship?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.