Wisdom 7:22b–8:1; Luke 17:20-25
The scripture speaks of wisdom. Christians are told to be wise. The reading from the book of Wisdom personifies wisdom as feminine, the crafter of all; wisdom is “an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty.” Wisdom is “the image of God’s goodness.” And the scribe wrote: “God loves nothing so much as the man/woman who lives with wisdom.”
Christians are told to be wise. The gospel has Jesus telling his followers not to go off and run in pursuit of an elusive kingdom of God or a fraudulent Son of Man. Rather, with reflection and wisdom, you will find both and realize that “the kingdom of God is among us.” We long for action, but the wise person knows, as Jesus knows, that the typical human state is not activity but watchfulness—“watch and pray” Jesus tells his followers.
Christians are told to be wise. I do not consider myself to be wise; experienced, well traveled, seasoned, opinionated, yes, but not wise. It is not easy to say what wisdom is or how we become wise. Yet I am wise enough to know not to look for wisdom in myself or to search for it too intently in others. But I do know that people of prayer, whoever and wherever they are, live with some (or frequent) stillness and silence in which both prayer and wisdom grow and develop through the grace of God. As our scripture notes “And passing into holy souls from age to age, she (wisdom) produces friends of God and prophets.”
Christians are told to be wise. The scriptures say: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fearing the Lord is the experience through which a person recognizes the purity and power of God, the limitations of human knowledge and action, and the traces of sinfulness in the best of human achievements.
A chilly November day begs a hearty broth, just as our soul needs silence and stillness in which both prayer and wisdom can grow and develop through the grace of God in this autumn season.
By John Schlegel