September 19, 2022 –
Monday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

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Proverbs 3:27-34   +   Luke 8:16-18

“Take care, then, how you hear.”

Today the First Reading at weekday Mass begins to come from the Book of Proverbs.  As proverbs tend to be pithy, their nature resembles that of Jesus’ parables.  Hearing the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage, we can imagine that He is speaking to us when He says:  “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.”

Surely Jesus isn’t talking about money or possessions?  Jesus is talking about our spiritual life, and the grace inside of us:  “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.”

Now who is it who would take away grace from our souls?  It’s not God.  It’s ourselves.  We drain ourselves of grace—so to speak—each and every time that we sin.

Here we can turn to the Book of Proverbs for an example.  Even though at Mass we hear from a whole section of verses put together, the Book of Proverbs is actually made up of proverbs that are often only one verse long.  These proverbs are meant to be taken just one at a time, for our reflection and prayer:  maybe at night, as we’re getting ready for sleep.

For example, in the Book of Proverbs today we hear:  “Quarrel not with a man without cause,  /  with one who has done you no harm.”  When we don’t follow these words, we sin, and we lose God’s life—His grace—because we have not followed His Word.  If there is such a person with whom we’ve quarreled, today is the day to ask that person for forgiveness, and to pray for that person and his spiritual growth, with the same care and concern that you have for your own spiritual growth.