Aspiring to great things is not a bad thing. The question is, to what kind of great things should we aspire? Great things in the eyes of the world, or great things in the eyes of God. If the latter (and it should be that), Jesus tells us the way in today’s Gospel reading.
We’re back in the Book of Sirach for today’s first reading. It starts with this: “My son, when you come to serve the LORD, stand in justice and fear, prepare yourself for trials.” The rest of the reading is a primer on how to endure those trials.
Trials come to all of us. We all get sick, people betray us, our loved ones suffer and die. It seems to me that the ones who endure these trials the best are people of great faith. They embody the things that we read about today’s reading. Just a few of the suggestions: Wait on God, cling to him, forsake him not, be steadfast, be patient, trust God, hope for good things, love him. Oh, trials will come, my friend. Before they do, let us prepare properly, by following the wise counsel of Sirach. Then we will be able to endure them with peace and joy.
Father, help us to draw ever closer to you, that when our time of trial comes, we will be able to endure it with the grace that you provide. Amen.
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