For the next two weeks, the first reading for the liturgy will come from the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures. Wisdom Literature tends to be very practical. One commentator refers to it as “down to earth as sidewalks and working clothes.” The passage we read today involves a father teaching his son how to get on in the world.
However, as we read the Wisdom Literature, we must keep in mind that the Scriptures are not a “how to” manual or a “self-help” guide. The Scriptures basically are meant to help us pray. So as we read this very practical literature, we need to ask ourselves how it can lead us to prayer.
That is precisely where the Gospel comes in. As we listen to the words of Jesus this morning, he teaches us that a light should not be hidden; it should be allowed to shine so that all who enter may see it. If we apply this teaching to the proverbs we hear this morning about how to deal honorably with our neighbors, the light that is Jesus tells us that behaving decently to our neighbors is a way to live out the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are reminded of this also in the responsorial psalm this morning which teaches us that acting kindly toward our neighbor is the path that will lead us to God’s holy mountain.
Jesus’ instructions in the Gospel this morning end with another proverb. “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.” It’s a little cryptic at best. However, if we remember that it is meant to lead us to prayer, this proverb could be paraphrased to read, “To anyone who has time to pray and reflect more will be given. To the one who does not take the time to pray, that which he has will be taken away.”
As we gather around the table of the Lord this morning, the Scriptures remind us that “To those who take the time to express our gratitude to God for this great gift, more will be given.” For the Eucharist is a treasure that is constantly bringing us more.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator