“Wisdom is a kindly spirit, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world.”
The beginning of the Book of Wisdom (Wisdom 1:1-7)
Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord with uprightness, and seek him with sincerity of heart; because he is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him. For perverse thoughts separate men from God, and when his power is tested, it convicts the foolish; because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin. For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit, and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts, and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness. For wisdom is a kindly spirit and will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words; because God is witness of his inmost feelings, and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue. Because the Spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all things together knows what is said.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 139:1 -3.4-6.7-8.9-10 (R. 24b)
R/. Lead me, Lord, in the way everlasting.
O Lord, you search me and you know me.
You yourself know my resting and my rising;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down;
you know all my ways through and through. R/.
Before ever a word is on my tongue,
you know it, O Lord, through and through.
Behind and before, you besiege me,
your hand ever laid upon me.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge;
too high, beyond my reach. R/.
O where can I go from your spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there.
If I lie in the grave, you are there. R/.
If I take the wings of the dawn
or dwell at the sea’s furthest end,
even there your hand would lead me;
your right hand would hold me fast. R/.
Alleluia. You will shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. Alleluia.
If your brother turns to you seven times, and says, “I repent, “you must forgive him.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 17:1-6)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples. “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, then that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Take heed to yourself; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, ‘I repent, ‘you must forgive him, “The apostles said to the Lord, “increase our faith! “And the Lord said, “if you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, “Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea, ‘and it would obey you.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus warns us against letting our personal preferences and prejudices become an unnecessary occasion of sin to ourselves and to others. He advises us to do this by being more disposed to pardon than to punish. We can achieve this through knowing ourselves well and understanding others better. We are to be content with who we are, without unreasonable shame, blame or self-disgust. Our fears, sensitivity, envy, irritability, contempt or hostility, or whatever negative emotions we express towards others begin from our own deficient self-respect. If we have a proper sense of individual value and personal dignity, we will find it much easier to accept and forgive those who wrong us. As long as we fail to know ourselves, we will be antagonistic with others and will often be an occasion of sin to others. Pray that God may help you to understand yourself better and to be forgiving.