Archive for April 2nd, 2019

Sirach 4:20-31: Lest the Stones Cry Out

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A re-post from April 2019 . . .

Refrain not from speaking at the proper time . . .

A verse from the Luke reading (19:40) in the Morning Prayer (Phyllis Tickle’s DIVINE HOURS: Prayers for Springtime, 326) leapt out at me as I read this morning.  Jesus’ followers have welcomed him into Jerusalem with palms, praise and high jubilation.  They know that one has come who has freed them from a bondage they are weary of carrying.  In subsequent verses Jesus will cleanse the Temple area of moneychangers and his authority will be challenged by the church leadership.  Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, knowing that she rejects the peace he brings.  The people cry out: Blessed is he who is coming as King in the name of the Lord!  Some Pharisees rebuke him saying, “Master, reprove your disciples”.  Jesus replies: I tell you, if these keep silence, the stones will cry out.  This is the same message we hear in today’s Noontime. We are reminded that discipleship is not for the weak or unwilling.

In capsule form, here is what Jesus Ben Sirach tells us today in this brief citation.

Guard yourself against evil.

Show no favoritism.

Let no one intimidate you.

Speak at the proper time.

Bring your wisdom into the light.

Tell the truth always and even fight for the truth . . . even to the death.

Go with the flow when it is clear that the opposition is overwhelming . . . let God be in charge.

Throw no pearls before swine . . . even when the swine are the power structure.

Keep you speech pleasant, not surly; wisdom becomes known through speech.

Refrain from laziness; do your work.

Be gentle at home and honest at work.

Stay away from conspiracy theories . . . especially in the workplace.

Give generously.

Receive graciously.

Take only what is your due.

Today is Holy Monday and as we begin our preparation for the great gift of light, and life and peace which Jesus bring to us with his suffering, death and resurrection; we are called to examine the role we take in this drama that plays out before us daily.  When we look at these elements from Sirach above, we discover an apt description of the life of one who follows Christ.  In it we see the same message Christ speaks to the crowd that has gathered at the Temple: Christians must speak out at the proper time.  Christians must be the justice they wish to receive.  Christians must enact the sincerity they wish to find.  And they must speak at the proper time . . . lest the very stones cry out in the silence.

Our question for today is this . . . Are we willing to break the deafening silence of injustice and deceit?

For a Lenten reflection on the goodness of silence, click on the image above or go to: http://ypguybrit.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/lent-the-discipline-of-silence/

Tickle, Phyllis.  THE DIVINE HOURS: PRAYERS FOR SPRINGTIME. New York: Doubleday, 2001. Print.

Image from: http://ypguybrit.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/lent-the-discipline-of-silence/

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