Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 26: Year 2
“How different the one who devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High!” (Ecclesiasticus 38:34)
I have a friend who really appreciates the life lessons she received from her former pastor. She said he would take his own money to post bail for one of his parishioners when he was arrested; he broke his own Church tradition and served real wine at their Holy Communions, and many other such acts that taught her to live a faithful Christian life. He was a barber by trade.
Our Ecclesiasticus reading for today teaches us that one cannot be both. The author says that we either devote ourselves to secular work or we devote ourselves to work of spiritual healing and worship. The writer teaches that we can’t effectively do both. I disagree.
For one thing, the secular work we find ourselves in was either handed down as the family business, or was evaluated for us in some kind of career test, or something we thought would be nice to do or, such a craft pays well. Real spiritual healing and Church worship are not career choices, such Godly vocations are Callings. Jesus Called fishermen to follow him. He didn’t stop them from being fishermen, he qualified them to do the Lord’s work. We still need both today. I don’t believe we must forego one in order to do the other. We don’t qualify ourselves for the Lord’s work. God doesn’t call the qualified, God qualifies the Called.
There are many doctors and scientists today who are also life changing Christian clergy, and not all are called along our Christian path. The point is that many of us are like Saint Paul who was a tentmaker who was also called to take the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. You too may be such a saint who God is calling to do such work, the Lord’s work.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John