Here’s some wisdom to share.
First, the Gospel for this week: Matthew 13:31-33,44-52 The Message
31-32 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests in it.”33 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises.”44 “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.45-46 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.47-50 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a fishnet cast into the sea, catching all kinds of fish. When it is full, it is hauled onto the beach. The good fish are picked out and put in a tub; those unfit to eat are thrown away. That’s how it will be when the curtain comes down on history. The angels will come and cull the bad fish and throw them in the garbage. There will be a lot of desperate complaining, but it won’t do any good.”51 Jesus asked, “Are you starting to get a handle on all this?”They answered, “Yes.”52 He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.”
Reading the Bible with the eyes of the poor is a different thing from reading it with a full belly. If it is read in the light of the experience and hopes of the oppressed, the Bible’s revolutionary themes—promise, exodus, resurrection and spirit—come alive.
Following Jesus is not a respectable religion, and I suspect it was never meant to be. It is a call to truth, justice and liberation for those oppressed, excluded and disempowered.
So Ignatius gave a rule to his followers for the discernment of spirits: When making a decision, be quiet and listen for the choice that leaves your spirit with a sense of consolation. And what is consolation? An increase in the fruits of the spirit. Move in the direction that leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When listening for the better angels of our nature, we will know them by their fruits.
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
~ William Stafford ~