In the Book of Sirach (in some Bibles; Ben Sira), there is a plethora of how to’s, advice, wisdom and humor. It’s one of my favorite books of the Bible. Today’s first reading cautions us to not rely on wealth, power, our strength, or the desires of our heart.
In preparing for this article, I kept re-reading this scripture. It bothered me. All this talk of punishment, wrath of flames, and vengeance is disturbing to me. We are barely into the New Year (some of us are recovering from a terrible 2018!) and this particular scripture is breathing fire and brimstone like a preacher in an old-fashioned movie!
In one of my re-readings of the scripture, “rely not on your wealth; say not: ‘I have the power,'” kept hammering away at me. My husband recently retired and planning financially is a major concern. We’re fairly certain we’ll be okay, but there’s always that nagging fear and the “what ifs?”
“Rely not on your strength in following the desires of your heart,” burst my bubble of longing to take a couple of trips. One with my husband, the other with my daughter. “Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin. Say not: ‘Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive.'”
Ugh. This is getting seriously depressing.
My head began to spin; I walked away from my laptop and Bible. On returning, I saw some hope. In my Catholic Journaling Bible published by Our Sunday Visitor, I noticed that Chapter 5 has a title, “Against Presumption.”
I was presuming certain things and not trusting God. I’m also impatient while waiting for things to play out. My husband and I will have our trip in God’s time. My daughter and I will have ours, in God’s time.
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in antonement for our sins and for protection against presumption. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on me and on the whole world.
Copyright 2019 Pam Spano
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