Even my daily missal is of the opinion that “the reading from Proverbs. . . is a random collection of disconnected wise sayings and cannot be taken as a whole.” Perhaps it would be better for us to simply read one proverb and pause to meditate on it and its application in our lives.
The few verses that we read today come from the section of the Book of Proverbs that is subtitled the “First Solomonic Collection of Sayings.” Solomon, of course, was the King of Israel who has become the Wisdom figure of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The saying that sticks out the most for me today is: “Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue is chasing a bubble over deadly snares” (Proverbs 21:6). Although it is not part of the reading, a later verse from chapter twenty-one seems to give us the antithesis: “Whoever pursues justice and kindness will find life and honor” (Proverbs 21:21). Perhaps I was drawn by these two because of my recent thoughts about the Parable of the Dishonest Steward who was caught in those deadly snares. When he turned toward justice and kindness, he seems to have saved himself from further shame.
I am sure that we can all think of examples of those who have been caught in deadly snares in our own times and our own culture. It seems the world has turned its collective ear away from the Word of God. May we not find ourselves counted among them.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator