As we approach the end of the liturgical year, the readings bring our focus to the end that lies ahead: the end of our earthly lives, the end of the world and the final judgment of God. At first glance, today’s first reading is about how to be a good wife, but mixed in are various comparisons that seem archaic and need further explanation. First, it is crucial for us to remember that whenever the Scriptures – whenever God talks to us about husband and wife, He is talking to us about His relationship with with His people, with humanity. One of the most serious consequences of allowing our understanding of marriage to be destroyed by the decadence of the modern world, is that it destroys God’s message to us about His love and commitment towards us. In this first reading, God is telling us, through the image of a good wife, about who the Church is for Him. The Church is the bride of Christ, the good wife that He has been seeking since the dawn of creation when He tells us that, “a man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife.”
Today’s readings remind us of the danger that lies in the preoccupation with material goods. The book of Proverbs says, “Give me neither misery nor riches” because either extreme can easily shift our priorities away from the spiritual. We shouldn’t be worried about what we are to eat: neither because we have an overabundance of possibilities nor because we have nothing. Having enough – what is sufficient for our own needs – allows us to move on to other things.
The heart of a holy king is in the hand of God. That means a holy king keeps his life centered within the will of God. If a king does not conduct himself in such a way that his heart senses the slightest movements of the finger of God – the Holy Spirit – he cannot be a holy king. We may not all be kings, but we must all govern our hearts and lives in a similar way. How can we become sensitive to the will of God? By daily practicing the commandments and daily listening to his Word.