August 24 is the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle. The following lessons are the course readings otherwise assigned.
The Lessons: Job 4:1; 5:1-11, 17-21, 26-27; Acts 9:19b-31; John 6:52-59
Job: Eliphaz continues his initial speech, offering to Job additional strategies for responding to his suffering. Vexation: not appropriate, since “trouble” is simply part of the human condition (vv.1-7). Commit one’s cause to God (vv.8-16): precisely what Job does. Accept what has happened as “reproof” or “discipline” (vv.17-27)? “At destruction and famine you shall laugh… You shall know that your tent is safe, / you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing. / You shall know that your descendants will be many…” (vv.22b, 24-25a): here (recall chapter 1) Eliphaz appears to have gone on autopilot!
Acts: In one of the readings accompanying the Feast of St. Bartholomew Philip brings Nathanael to Jesus (Jn 1:43-53; an early tradition identifies the Nathanael in the Gospel according to John with the Bartholomew in the synoptic Gospels). In our Acts 9 reading Barnabas performs a parallel function, connecting him with the understandably cautious apostles, and apparently without an Ananias-type vision!
John: “Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.” With this we might pair “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (20:21). What has the Gospel according to John done? Matthew: “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (6:33). Hearing only this text we might assume that the striving is a matter of our effort; one of John’s contributions is to explore the organic connection between Jesus and the disciples, and, elsewhere, between the Holy Trinity and the disciples.