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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for October 22, 2018

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.

MONDAY, October 22

Ecclesiasticus 4:20-21 Watch for the opportune time, and beware of evil, and do not be ashamed to be yourself. For there is a shame that leads to sin, and there is a shame that is glory and favor.

Ben Sira writes Ecclesiasticus at a time when many Jews are becoming aware of Hellenic (Greek) culture but are still committed to their Jewish roots, including the study of Torah. Ben Sira is particularly concerned about young people, who seem attracted to the Greek ways of life. In this chapter he advises them on how to live an honorable life that is grounded in holy wisdom, as understood by the Jewish community. 

Knowing his young listeners may be so challenged and distressed by their struggle to adhere to the laws and customs laid out in Torah that they might abandon their efforts toward holiness for the easier lives of their Hellenic peers, Ben Sira gives more nuance to that most uncomfortable word—shame. While sin may be the result of shameful behavior, for those who are faithful to the covenant with God, shame can be transfigured into true glory, in accordance with God’s standards.

MOVING FORWARD: Shame is a difficult emotion for us to engage. Too much shame is as damaging as no shame at all. How do forgiveness and love buffer shame?

PRAY for the Dioceses of Iowa and Kansas

Ps 25 * 9, 15 | Ecclesiasticus 4:20—5:7 | Revelation 7:1-8 | Luke 9:51-62 

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