Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

(James 4:13-17; Mark 9:38-40)

Wise people realize the difference between self-control and thinking of oneself in control.  Self-control --the ability to control one’s desires -- enables a person to work for the true goals in life.  Thinking oneself completely in control of a situation implies arrogance since there are always factors –weather, other natural contingencies, and a host of human possibilities – that can affect outcomes.  In today’s first reading James cautions against such arrogance.

James admonishes his listeners to recognize God as the one with power over heaven and earth, not any human being.  He tells them to be humble in their speech; that is, they are to say, “’If the Lord wills it …’” before declaring what will take place tomorrow.  Developing this habit will not only avoid the sin of arrogance; it will also give testimony to belief in God’s sovereignty.

But is it necessary to include the reservation -- “God-willing” -- in everything we say?  Not really.  But we should be humble with regard to future possibilities.  We also want to pray that God will guide us to do what is right.