Far, Far Better Things
"...But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will run wild and cause you grief." ~ Unknown
Salient pearls of wisdom in today’s 1st Reading (Proverbs 30:5-9) wherein we are reminded of the power of the spoken word and our responsibility to harness and use that power wisely. Those of you who are familiar with the best selling book The Four Agreements know that the very first agreement is “to be impeccable with your word.” While this seems fairly straight forward, it can in fact take on a number of subtle nuances as one begins to put this precept into practice. Words are powerful and should always be used in the direction of love and truth. This is not as simple as it sounds.
In Proverbs, we are reminded to stay meticulously and painstakingly true to God’s precise words, taking nothing away from them and of equal importance, adding nothing more to them. The passage goes on to implore the reader to “put falsehood and lying far from you” and then expounds upon the virtues of gratitude and contentment.
“Give me neither poverty nor riches” the author prays “...provide me only with the food I need; Lest being full, I deny you, saying “Who is the Lord?” Or being in want, I steal, and profane the name of God.” A wise prayer indeed.
This Reading from the Book of Proverbs is the perfect compliment to today’s Gospel (Luke 9:1-6) where Jesus commissions the Apostles to go out and proclaim the Kingdom of God. Matthew’s account of this seminal moment tells us that they were sent out “two by two.” They took virtually nothing with them for the journey, instead placing all their trust in God to provide them with that which they would need, no more and no less.
As these men were sent out by Jesus to heal and preach, it was their faith that allowed them to rely on God for all their needs. Jesus wanted them to know that it was their eternal Heavenly Father who would give them the words and power to work in his name. This is a lesson he longs to teach each and every one of us.
There will be ups and downs, periods of self doubt and times when it would appear that we just don’t have the resources we need to complete the task at hand, spiritual or otherwise. At times like these, we need to summon the faith and courage to simply take the first step. Ours must be the pursuit of holiness and purity of heart. As we achieve them, our receptivity to God’s grace increases dramatically. The Holy Spirit will then most surely provide us with the fortitude, wisdom, patience and humility to cross the finish line. For in the words of C.S. Lewis, ”There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Let the Holy Spirit lead you to far, far better things.