Today is Wednesday the 23 September, in the Twenty Fifth Week of Ordinary Time.
The St Thomas Music Group sing the Prayer of St Theresa by Margaret Rizza. Let nothing disturb you, nothing distress you. While all things fade away, God is unchanging. Be patient, for with God in your heart, nothing is lacking. God is enough.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Proverbs.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar. Two things I ask of you; do not deny them to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need, 9 or I shall be full, and deny you, and say, "Who is the Lord" or I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.
In these words from the Book of Proverbs, written thousands of years ago, do you see an age-old truth? The writer seems to notice two obstacles to faith, twin dangers that might prevent him or her from living a faithful life: excessive riches on the one hand, and desperate poverty on the other. Has there been a time in your life, or is there some area of your life, where you have had riches, more than you need, where you no longer felt, or no longer feel, the need for God?
Or has there been some time in your life, or some area of your life now, where you have done something you know to be wrong – cheating, stealing, lying – out of poverty or desperation or just for survival?
Now move from reflecting on yourself to reflecting on the world around you, as you hear the reading again. Does this warning about the dangers of riches and of poverty have any echoes in the lives being led around you? Does it seem a fair comment on the world you live in?
“Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that I need.” - Is this a prayer you can make today? If it isn’t, what do you want to ask of the Lord now?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.