Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Sirach 2:1-11; Mark 9:30-37)
There is a story about Don Ramon, an old man who lived in a village in the state of Tabasco in Mexico. Every day Don Ramos was seen sitting in front of the hut where he lived with an open Bible on his lap. One day a passer-by, a visiting priest from the United States, stopped to talk with the old man. “Don Ramon,” the priest asked, “what are you reading in the Bible?” The old man looked at the priest and said: “Padrecito, I do not know how to read. So I sit here every morning and ask God to teach me something from his Word. And every morning He does. God has never failed me!” This story of Don Ramon exemplifies the message in today’s first reading.
Sirach, the Old Testament sage, tells his readers, “Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, …Trust God and God will help you; trust in him, and he will direct your way…” God does not abandon those who seek him. Rather they will learn that it is He who has sought them first. Sirach probably learned this lesson from bitter experience. During his time Israel was occupied by Greek rulers who tried to forcibly change Jewish ways and customs. They even desecrated the Temple! Sirach preaches patience and trust. The Lord will show the Jews what to do. They must wait on him.
We live in a trying time as well. (Perhaps all times are trying.) The Church appears under siege, and many people are angry about one thing or another. We have to heed Sirach’s advice. Like Don Ramon we are wise to wait on the Lord every day. We have the advantage of being able to search the Scriptures for an inspiration. There He will advise us how to not become discouraged but to help improve the situation.