Daily Reflection – Sep 19, 2016
Monday 19 September 2016
First Reading: Proverbs 3:27-34
Whoever does justice shall live on the Lord’s holy mountain
Gospel Reading: Luke 8:16-18
Today’s Saint: St Januarius, Bishop and Martyr
Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
With the upright is his friendship. (Proverbs 3:32)
Three children gaze at a painting of a ship on the water when they are suddenly sucked into the scene! For the rest of C. S. Lewis’ book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the children are no longer standing on the outside gazing at the painting; they’re caught up in the action.
Sometimes, it might feel as if we are simply gazing at descriptions of how to live a godly life. We may wonder, “How could I possibly become as holy as Paul or Mary or Peter? Their lives look so perfect.” Part of the answer lies in the Book of Proverbs. A collection of sayings from a variety of sources from the ancient Near East, the book’s composition spans from the eleventh to the seventh centuries BC. It teaches us in very practical ways how we can live in an upright manner and find friendship with God.
So what does it look like when someone lives out the picture painted in Proverbs? Look at Jesus! More than anyone else, he brings this book to life. First, we hear countless echoes of its wisdom in his teachings. For example, when he says, “Whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35), he is recalling a passage in Proverbs, where wisdom personified encourages us: “Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed” (Proverbs 9:5).
We also see the Book of Proverbs embodied in Jesus’ actions. “Do not say, ‘As they did to me, so will I do to them; I will repay them according to their deeds’” (Proverbs 24:29). This sounds a lot like Jesus’ words on the cross: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Today, choose a few verses from Proverbs: How do they apply to your circumstances? Then ask Jesus for the grace to put them into action.
If you do this every day, you’ll become wiser. You’ll be imitating Jesus and the apostles as you make the Book of Proverbs part of your life. Don’t just gaze on this storehouse of wisdom as a distant ideal. Open your heart to it, and be a witness to it for others.
“Father, thank you for all the ways you reveal yourself to me. Open my eyes today!”