Taste and See: Perfection!

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A perfect wife – who can find her?
She is far beyond the price of pearls.
Her husband’s heart has confidence in her,
from her he will derive no little profit.
Advantage and not hurt she brings him
all the days of her life.
She is always busy with wool and with flax,
she does her work with eager hands.
She sets her hands to the distaff,
her fingers grasp the spindle.
She holds out her hand to the poor,
she opens her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty;
the woman who is wise is the one to praise.
Give her a share in what her hands have worked for,
and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.

First reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31

This woman, this wife, gives security to her husband, is a source of blessing to her household, her children (mentioned in the fuller passsage, but not included in the Lectionary extract), her neighbours, her community.

She echoes the blessing that God offers to Israel and she incarnates it in her flesh and in her life.

This portrait of the perfect wife concludes The Book of Proverbs and it sets a challenge before all as to how we live and share the blessings of God.

Image of Saint. Walsall Art Gallery. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

 

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