St-Gregory-the-DialogistAfter revealing his sublime feats of heroism the saintly Job seeks a helper, knowing as he does that his own merits are not enough for him to reach the highest peak.

And on whom indeed does he rest his gaze but the only-begotten Son of God, who took a human nature, labouring in mortality, and in so doing brought nature his saving help?

For he it was who, once he was made man, brought his help to us men so that, since the way back to God did not lie open to man left to himself, it might be opened through God-made-man.

We are a long way from being just and immortal, unjust and mortal as we are.

But between him who is immortal and just, and us who are neither the one nor the other, the Mediator of God and man has appeared.

And he is both mortal and just, having death in common with men and justice with God.

And because through our baseness we are far from the heights he occupies, he joins in his own person the lowest with the highest, to make a way for us back to God.

The blessed Job, then, seeks this Mediator, speaking as it were for the whole Church, when having said: Who will grant me a helper? he aptly goes on, that the Almighty one may hear my petition.

For he knew that men’s prayers for the repose of eternal freedom can only be heard through their advocate.

Of him, we are told through John the Apostle that: If anyone has sinned we have Christ the just man as advocate with the Father; and he is the propitiation for our sins, not for ours alone but also for those of the whole world.

And Paul the Apostle speaks of him as: The Christ who died for us, and indeed who rose again, who is at the right hand of God, and who intercedes for us.

It is for the only-begotten Son of God to intercede with his co-eternal Father, presenting himself as man; and then his having made intercession on behalf of human nature amounts to taking up that nature to the level of his own divine nature.

The Lord intercedes for us not in words, but in mercy; for what he did not wish to see condemned or lost in his chosen ones, that he set free by taking it on himself.

A helper is therefore sought, that our petition might be heard: for unless some mediator intercedes for us our prayers would undoubtedly remain as if unspoken, in the ears of Almighty God.

Gregory the Great (c.540-604): Reflections (Moralia) on Job, 22.17 (PL 76:237-238);  from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2.

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