The first reading at Mass on Sunday, the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time, came from Israel’s Wisdom tradition. That tradition reflects on the business of human living. Those writings – for example Wisdom, Proverbs, Ecclesiasticus… – contain some passages that sometimes seem indistinguishable from a down-to-earth sort of good advice. Yet it comes from the practice of pondering on the ways of God as well as the ways of men. And sometimes, as in the passage this week, the two run into the other. We are urged to act in a particular way not just because it is a good way to be human, but because it is a way close to the Lord’s own heart.
My son, be gentle in carrying out your business, and you will be better loved than a lavish giver.
The greater you are, the more you should behave humbly, and then you will find favour with the Lord; for great though the power of the Lord is, he accepts the homage of the humble.
There is no cure for the proud man’s malady, since an evil growth has taken root in him. The heart of a sensible man will reflect on parables, an attentive ear is the sage’s dream.
- From whom do you receive? And what do you receive?
- What do you give? And to whom?
- From whom do you hold back in giving? Why?
- Bring your thoughts to God in prayer…
Statue of the Sacred Heart. St Giles, Cheadle. (c) 2003, Allen Morris