When Wisdom Comes

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent, March 26th, 2015

Liturgical texts here

Woman-praying_Fotor

 

THE words came to me recently:

Whatever happens, happens. Knowing about the future does not prepare you for it; knowing Jesus does.

There is a gigantic gulf between knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge tells you what is. Wisdom tells you what to do with it. The former without the latter can be catastrophic on many levels. For example:

The darkness that poses a real threat to mankind, after all, is the fact that he can see and investigate tangible material things, but cannot see where the world is going or whence it comes, where our own life is going, what is good and what is evil. The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general. If God and moral values, the difference between good and evil, remain in darkness, then all other “lights”, that put such incredible technical feats within our reach, are not only progress but also dangers that put us and the world at risk. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Easter Vigil Homily, April 7th, 2012

In today’s Gospel, the Jewish leaders had all kinds of knowledge of the Old Testament, but lacked the divine Wisdom necessary to open their eyes and ears to perceive who Christ was. In these coming times, brothers and sisters, many will find themselves equally lost if they have not filled their lamps with the oil of Wisdom.

Last night, my young son walked into my office with a Bible and pointed to a page and said, “What are these numbers, dad?” Before I could answer, I sensed the Lord wanted me to read the very numbers he was pointing to:

For God loves nothing so much as the one who dwells with Wisdom… Compared to light, she is found more radiant; though night supplants light, wickedness does not prevail over Wisdom. (Wis 7:28-30)

Wickedness does not prevail over Wisdom. Do you want to know why? Because divine Wisdom is a Person:

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Cor 1:24)

Go back again to that parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. Do you know who was ready when the Bridegroom came? The ones, Jesus said, who were “wise.”

Since St. Paul reminds us that “we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God”, [1]1 Cor 2:7 how then do we gain this Wisdom that will be needed to prevail over wickedness, to be ready to endure the present and coming Storm? The answer is in today’s first reading:

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him…

Wisdom is received on one’s knees. Wisdom comes to the childlike; Wisdom is conceived in the humble and born in the obedient. And Wisdom is given to the one who asks in faith:

…if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. (James 1:5)

Knowing about the future and what is coming upon the world does not prepare you for it; knowing Jesus— “the wisdom of God” — does.

 

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1. 1 Cor 2:7
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