May 23, Thursday Weekday
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. — Psalm 40:5
Mass Readings: Sirach 5:1-8/Mark 9:41-50
Pride and Presumption
In the first reading Sirach addresses two human tendencies, both erroneous, both inviting God’s wrath. The first is pride in ourselves — in our own wealth, power or strength. In our ever-growing sense of self-sufficiency, we fail to recognize or acknowledge our need of God and refuse to live as creatures dependent on their Creator. Sirach refers to “deceitful wealth” — by trusting in our own resources, material or otherwise, we deceive ourselves.
The second tendency is presuming on God’s mercy and grace. When a husband or wife is continually taken for granted, one spouse may become resentful, while the other grows increasingly self-centered. Instead of love growing and deepening, cracks appear and widen in their marriage. Sirach warns that by taking God’s mercy for granted we “add sin upon sin” — and sin, of course, separates us from God.
Prayer: Gracious God, keep me from unhealthy pride and ungrateful presumption.
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