Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

(Sirach 2:1-11; Mark 9:30-37)

The Book of Sirach is named after its Jewish writer who lived in the second century before Christ.  It is also called the “Book of Ecclesiasticus,” which means the Church’s book, because it has been regularly used for moral instruction.  Today’s reading shows how well the book fulfills this purpose.

As Jesus indicates in the gospel, to follow him entails serving everyone especially the most vulnerable of people.  Those who give of themselves to this end should take to heart what Sirach recommends about listening to the word of God for support.  What is more, they can expect to receive God’s mercy when they call upon Him, again as Sirach testifies.

Often following Christ is a joy.  We may find ourselves among the best of people and experience the treasure of the Holy Spirit.  But why kid ourselves?  At times following Jesus means sacrifice not just of pleasure but of stability.  When this happens, we are wise to take Sirach’s advice.  We need to maintain hope that God will sustain us in trial.