February 24, 2011
Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Sirach 5: 1-8
Mark 9: 41-50
The First Lesson read at Mass today comes to us from the Old Testament and forms part of what is called the “Wisdom Literature” of the Bible.
The Sacred Author of this Book, writing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, offers to his readers a series of “spiritual aphorisms’ which reflect true wisdom for living daily life.
Since God Himself is the true author, they remain, even in our time, an authentic guide for anyone who is serious in his efforts to lead a virtuous and holy life.
Unfortunately, some people believe that what is found in the Old Testament is no longer applicable and therefore is of no value to men and women of our time.
This opinion is widely held yet it is erroneous because the nature of man remains essentially the same “yesterday and today.”
Among other things, Sirach tells us:
Rely not on your wealth…
Of forgiveness be not overconfident…
Delay not your conversion…
Rely not on deceitful wrath…
Although written over three thousand years ago, this Sacred Book is as contemporary as today.
May we be granted the wisdom to heed the advice of Sirach and be mindful of the First Stanza of the Versicle in today’s Responsorial Psalm:
R. (40.5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not the council of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.