Today’s scripture readings all challenge us to put our faith into practice. Moses told the Israelites that they would appear to be a very wise nation if they would keep God’s commandments. (First Reading) The Apostle James comes right out and says, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.” (Second Reading) To do otherwise is to be “deluded,” because the only authentic faith is faith which is practiced in daily life. In today’s Gospel Jesus implies that a conversion of heart is needed to avoid sin and be pleasing in God’s sight.
The book of Sirach echoes Moses’ teaching about obeying God as the source of wisdom, although it speaks of obedience in terms of reverential fear: the fear of the Lord. Reflect now upon this passage from Sirach and the rich images of wisdom, personified here in feminine terms.
Fear of the Lord is glory and splendor, gladness and a festive crown.
Fear of the Lord warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days.
He who fears the Lord will have a happy end; even on the day of his death he will be blessed.
The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord, which is formed with the faithful in the womb.
With devoted men was she created from of old, and with their children her beneficence abides.
Fullness of wisdom is fear of the Lord; she inebriates men with her fruits.
Her entire house she fills with choice foods, her granaries with her harvest.
Wisdom’s garland is fear of the Lord, with blossoms of peace and perfect health.
Knowledge and full understanding she showers down; she heightens the glory of those who possess her.
The root of wisdom is fear of the Lord; her branches are length of days.
As announced last weekend we are taking up a second collection in both parish for the people of Haiti, the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere. The money collected will go to a special fund set up by the United States Bishops’ Conference for relief of the victims of the recent earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace. Thank you for your generosity.
Unfortunately Paul Kosower has had to resign as our sacred music director for health reasons. So, we are again looking for a replacement. I am grateful for Paul’s conscientious attention to detail and his considerable talent during his brief time with us. Pray for his good health.
My threshing event is planned for Labor Day, Monday, September 6, at the home farm. I’m hoping for a day of nice weather. There are just over two loads, which are under cover. A noon potluck lunch at St. Philip Church near Rolling Ground followed by a few hours of work in the afternoon should make a nice day. All who care to come are welcome. The farm’s address is 25858 Gorman Lane, Blue River, WI 53518, on state highway 171 in Richland County. St. Philip Church is a mile east of the intersection of state highway 171 and US highway 61 in Crawford County.
Pray the rosary this week for the people of Haiti who have experienced a devastating earthquake and a tropical storm; for people in Afghanistan fleeing the brutal Taliban; and for flooding victims in Tennessee and New England. Let us be grateful for all of our blessings, and pray that we may be kept safe from severe weather and damaging storms. As always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.