Job. Since the Lectionary has jumped around a bit, Job 29-31 is Job’s final speech in the dialogue with the three friends. (Elihu appears in chapter 32, and talks until the LORD’s appearance in chapter 38.) In this final speech Job recalls his past (chapter 29), laments his present (chapter 30), and ends with an extended set of self-curses (this chapter): may such-and-such happen to me if… If we’re looking for a summary of what is exemplary, this chapter (along with chapter 29) is more than adequate. We could do worse than use it to evaluate our choices—up and down the ballot—on November 3.
Acts. Luke started his account with this: “In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord” (Lk. 1:5-6). Now we hear Peter: “why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?” The “yoke” was unbearable for Zechariah and Elizabeth (and Joseph and Mary and…)?