The Proverbs are for “gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair…”
We should be pretty good at getting the point. I mean, it’s all spelled out. But it seems we’re pretty good at missing it. Here are a couple of examples.
Once, Jesus and his friends walked through a field on the Sabbath gathering grain to eat. This was defined as work according to the law. The Pharisees, who knew the law but missed the point, confronted him, so he confronted them right back. “…if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Matt. 12:7)
Then there was this parable spoken by Jesus. A couple of people (including a priest) passed by an injured man, but a guy from a despised people group stopped to help him. The professional holy person missed the point, but the spurned one got it.
If we don’t show mercy, we miss the point. And if we’re more concerned with the law than with grace, we’ve missed the point. Love is what fulfills the law.
I didn’t make that up. It’s Romans 13:10.
I think St. Francis was on to something when he wanted to get, rather than miss, the point. He just sat down and prayed for an everyday miracle. “O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.”
O divine Master, I’m praying that too, because it’s way too easy to miss the point.