U.S. President Abraham Lincoln once said: “It is better to remain silent and to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!”
In many ways, this is a variation on the words of the sage Ben Sirach in today’s first reading: “Do not praise someone before they speak, for this is the way in which people are tested.” In fact, the connecting thread running through what seem to be very disparate, disconnected readings today is this notion of integrity: avoiding hypocrisy and hasty judgments, bearing witness to the truth by living a life in which there is coherence between our beliefs and values, our words and our deeds. This is the way in which our lives become fruitful, a source of goodness for ourselves and for those around us. Or in simpler terms: “to walk the talk.”
This Sunday we begin the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. For many Sundays in this lectionary cycle (Cycle C), our readings will be taken from the Gospel of Luke. Occasionally, however, we will read from John's Gospel.