Some time back I wrote a blog about being surprised by Scripture. In it, I said that I was reassured and inspired with what I had read and that it came at just the right time.
Well, this week I was once again surprised by Scripture but this time it was unsettling and a bit unnerving. It came as a wake-up call. I shouldn’t be all that surprised “for the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The reading for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time was from Ecclesiastes. It was the vanity of vanities reading (Eccles. 1:2). I, unfortunately, have always glossed over this reading thinking that it was not speaking to me. (Carly Simon after all did not write her song about me.) But, I should have known better. All Scripture in one way or another is speaking to us. And this time I heard it loud and clear. “Even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity” (Eccles 2:23).
Ouch! That is me. My mind is always racing. I think about what things I should be doing. I think about what I should have done and how I could have done things better. Even when I think I am praying I am really thinking my own thoughts and I am not giving God center attention.
Now that I had a wake-up call and have been surprised again by Scripture, I wondered what to do. And, not so surprising Scripture showed the way. It seems that that the rest of the readings from the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time offer some answers. Psalm 90 says that “if today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.” Paul’s letter encourages us to “seek what is above” and to “think of what is above and not of what is on earth” (Col 3:1-2) and Luke admonishes us to store up treasures that matter to God. (Luke 12:21).
May the Scripture surprises never cease!
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery she taught and coached in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of New Ulm. Sister Lisa made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is an Assistant Football Coach at the College of St. Scholastica and serves as the Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.