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Posts Tagged ‘listen and learn’


Sirach 6: True Friendship & Wisdom

Friday, April 5, 2019

A re-post from Holy Thursday 2012.

These are wise and beautiful words.  We cannot read them too often.

Verses 5 through 17 are full of sound, solid advice that is easy to absorb and use.  There is nothing complicated here.  We are encouraged to examine not only who our friends are and why, but who we are as friends . . . and why.

Verses 18 through 37 delineate the blessings of wisdom, and when we read them with care it is not difficult to judge if we are wise or foolish.  We are given a clear prescription: Put your feet into [Wisdom’s] fetters, and your neck under her yoke.  Stoop your shoulders and carry her and be not irked at her bonds.  With all your soul draw close to her; with all your strength keep her ways.  Search her out, discover her; seek her and you will find her.  Then when you have her, do not let her go; thus will you afterward find rest I her, and she will become your joy . . . if you wish, you can be taught; if you apply yourself, you will be shrewd.  If you are willing to listen, you will learn; if you give heed, you will be wise.

Our questions on this Holy Thursday are these . . . When it comes to friendship and to wisdom, who are we and how are we?  Do we recognize ourselves in any of these descriptions?  Whose commandments do we follow?  Are we willing to listen and to heed?  Are we eager to hear Godly discourse?  Are we ready to give ourselves over to God . . . do what it takes to be a loyal and wise friend?

A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy . . . if you are willing to listen, you will learn; if you give heed, you will be wise.


Image from: http://taberstruths.com/walking-gods-wisdom/

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Psalm 49: Self-Rescue

Sunday, August 28, 2016psa-49-15-ww-stock-9x

Yesterday we heard from Peter about sloppy living; today we hear the psalmist’ words on the foolishness of trusting in wealth. Today we pray Psalm 49 using THE MESSAGE translation and we open ourselves to the understanding that God alone saves, God alone transforms, God alone gives us the gift of eternal life.

The psalmist prepares us to hear words that save.

Listen, everyone, listen—
    earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves
    and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

The psalmist delivers words that calm.

So why should I fear in bad times,
    hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,
    demeaned by the arrogant rich?

The psalmist sings verses that reveal.

Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,
    and even then it doesn’t guarantee
Life forever, or insurance
    against the Black Hole.

The psalmist speaks verses that ring true.

Anyone can see that the brightest and best die,
    wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind,
    move into their new home, The Coffin,
The cemetery their permanent address.
    And to think they named counties after themselves!

The psalmist declares truths that are evident.

So don’t be impressed with those who get rich
    and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them;
    fame and fortune all get left behind.
Just when they think they’ve arrived
    and folks praise them because they’ve made good,
They enter the family burial plot
    where they’ll never see sunshine again.

The psalmist proclaims words we will want to sing out together as we give thanks for God’s gifts of assurance, redemption, and rescue.

Listen, everyone, listen—
    earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves
    and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

Compare this translation with others to better understand the psalmist’s message.

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