Broken Records and Jukeboxes
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: SIR 27:4-7; PS 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16; 1 COR 15:54-58; LK 6:39-45
A Needed Break
A long Ordinary Time between Christmas season and Lent this year. It allows us to enjoy the continuous readings of Sirach – a wisdom book offering time tested advice about friendship and relationship.
The time before lent is a time for listening to the wisdom of Jesus, Son of Eleazar, Son of Sirach. Listen to Jesus – listen.
One’s speech discloses the bent of one’s mind.
Of course this truth cuts both ways. What we hear others say reveals and what we say reveals about us as well.
When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do one’s faults when one speaks.
Under stress truth wiggles out. Truth tends to do that. Find its way to the mouth – even when we don’t want it to.
The body has similar strengths that are always interesting examples. How about the man who having been shot in the back years ago suddenly – twenty years later see the bullet coming out of the skin. Slowly ever so slowly the body expels what does not belong. I always found those stories interesting. But I digress.
There is another listen warning in today’s readings.
Judging is tricky business. Jesus recommends we look at the fruit of the one speaking. What do they say? What do they do?
Mostly it’s about the jukebox we have in our soul.
When difficult or uncomfortable conversations begin we have this really useful but dangerous habit. Play back the records form the Jukebox in our souls.
Some of these vinyl records are harmless and filled with joyful memories.
Yet most are filled with judgment and condemnations from past events. The problem is we don’t listen to the current event. We hear only the past and plat h appropriate broken record that applied then and is convenient now. It is a convenient process but untrue and hurtful.
Fruit Not Broken Records
Jesus calls us to produce good fruit. Good fruit come from within souls that cast away the jukebox of prerecorded responses and broken records of resentment.
Good fruit is producing new fruit founded on listening and engaging and being authentic in the moment.
The examples Jesus gives are when we actually do not engage the other but prescribe history and law alone to the situation.
Jesus says, provide good fruit.