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Scripture Reflection - September 23, 2018

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Wis.2:12, 17-20; Psalm 54; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37


I was thinking of Sr. Loretta McIvor yesterday, when we lived together in Ormond Beach at St. Brendan’s. Now and again, if anyone of us complained about something or some situation, she would start singing the song, “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.” Looking at each of today’s readings, I again thought of her and that song.


The book of Wisdom reminds us that evil does exist, does test us, but also that God will take care of us in any situation. Psalm 54 echoes the same refrain: God is my helper. God sustains my life. God’s Name is good.


James speaks of jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, wars. Lest we become discouraged, he also speaks of wisdom from above, the antithesis of all the negativity in the world. Wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, full of mercy. If we ask properly, this wisdom can be ours.


The Apostles still didn’t get it. James had not yet written his epistle and if they read the book of Wisdom, they already forgot what it revealed. Jesus was going to encounter Evil. Evil would appear to overtake Him. The sky would darken, and all would seem to be lost. Being told ahead of time revealed their fears, their questions. So slow to learn. But God is Love. God is Mercy. God is Patience.


We are at an advantage with 2,000 years of Church, Sacraments, Church history, teachers, Saints. We are graced by God and graced by those with whom we live, work and love. May God give us wisdom. May God give us understanding. May God give us peace.


Sister Monica Paul Fraser, O.P.

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