30th Week in Ordinary Time : Sunday 27th October 2019

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  • 30th Week in Ordinary Time : Sunday 27th October 2019

Lean on God's Wisdom

30th Week in Ordinary Time : Sunday 27th October 2019

Sir. 35:15b-17,20-22; Ps. 34(33):2-3,17-18,19,23;
2 Tim. 4:6-8,16-18; Lk. 18:9-14 (Ps Wk II)

The Book of Sirah of Ecclesiasticus as it is sometimes called is found in the Greek translation of the Jewish Bible called the Pentatuch on which the Catholic canon was based. It is an interesting book because in addition to containing specifically religious material, it also contains much worldly wisdom well-presented in very vivid language and metaphor.

Today’s verses were selected to echo the Gospel reading in which we hear the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector who go to the Temple to pray. One of the lessons of the parable is summarized in the words of the first reading we hear today — “the humble man’s prayer pierces the clouds.” If we take time to go back and read the passage again as well as the surrounding verses, we will also hear echoes of the parable which immediately precedes the Gospel passage heard today — the story of the unscrupulous judge and the importunate widow — which also is intended to teach us about prayer.

Jesus’ teachings and preaching were deeply rooted in the Jewish imagination. As we become better acquainted with the Jewish Scriptures, we will come to understand Jesus’ words better, and recognize how much as followers of Jesus we share in common with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

As our Gospel reading today suggests, it is better that we not compare ourselves with others to prove how much better we are, but rather to humbly recognize our own faults, and give thanks that the Lord has been so generous and merciful with all peoples.

Lord, teach me to be wise and prudent.