Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper23: Year 2
AM Psalms 16 and 17; PM Psalm 22; Ecclesiasticus 1:1to10 and18to 27; Acts 28:1to16; Luke 9:28to 36
“For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline, fidelity and humility are his delight.” (Ecclesiasticus 1:27)
This book from the Apocrypha is the Ecclesiasticus, or Wisdom of Jesus, son of Sirach; not to be confused with Jesus, Son of God. This is a Wisdom writing. It did not make the canon, or the accepted books of the Bible, but is none the less an important teaching tool for the Church. In this book, there is a close association between wisdom and seeking the will of God.
Perhaps a better word for the word fear in this sense is the word respect or belief in the Lord. For it is in believing in God and trusting in God that we are enlightened. God reveals to those who believe in God. Many people refuse to believe because they cannot prove God exists. But, on the other hand, they cannot prove that God does not exist. Art is proof of the Artist. Creation is proof of the Creator. Nothing is happenstance.
For many of us today, frustrations abound. But “Those who are patient stay calm until the right moment, and then cheerfulness comes back to them” (Ecclesiasticus 1:23). Patience is key here. We have to prayerfully wait things out. We should ponder all things as a people of prayer. The writer of Ecclesiasticus says of such a people, “They hold back their words until the right moment; then the lips of many tell of their good sense (Ecclesiasticus 1:24). I like to use the term DUST or “don’t unnecessarily share thoughts.” Too quickly sharing thoughts, even if not meant, or fully developed yet by the speaker, have gotten people fired from their jobs. All they had to do was keep it to themselves for just a little bit longer. Again, those who are patient stay calm until the right moment.
In our practice of discipline, fidelity and humility we should try to DUST ourselves. Holding back our thoughts and anger will give us time to ponder about what truly bothers us. It will lead us to better outcomes and we will have fewer regrets. We just need to calm ourselves.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John