Seek wisdom and understanding

By | August 16, 2012

Wisdom and foolishness! Knowledge and ignorance! Understanding and comprehension! In some areas of our lives we are smart and insightful; in other areas, we just don’t get it. That is why we are called to be lifelong learners, not only in matters of our world, but also in matters of our faith. We are called to seek wisdom and understanding every day through prayer, study and conversations with those who have a wealth of experience.

The Eucharist for us is a source of great wisdom. In today’s Gospel, we hear about a food and drink that leads to eternal life. Wise are those who participate in the life of Jesus through sacramental signs and actions. Wise are those who realize that life is so much more than hamburgers and French fries, more than money in the bank and a new car. Gospel wisdom helps us to know and understand that it is in experiencing God’s consuming love manifest in Jesus that we find that deep peace and joy that the world cannot give. It is experiencing this divine love that fills our holy longing.

St. Paul was a wise apostle. He instructs that we do God’s will by being filled with the Holy Spirit and giving thanks always and everywhere to the Lord. By contrast, if we are filled to the point of drunkenness with wine, we must realize that debauchery is right around the corner. Two choices are always before us: wisdom and foolishness — to live well or to live stupidly.

In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is described as a house. But it is more than a building filled with books and tapes and maps. This house, this structure of wisdom, has a table at which the meat and wine consumed enriches the mind and softens the heart. It is in this house that we are taught simplicity, to know the one thing that is necessary on the human journey. To understand this is to participate in the wisdom of God.

Douglas V. Steere was a wise man. The Quaker philosopher and writer gave a magnificent overview of the Christian life and what is involved in the call to sanctity. Listen attentively to these wise words: “The life of sanctity is a mad response to the initiative of the mad love of God that has come into realization that God holds it in the utter consuming, transforming and energizing irradiation of his costly love” (cf. “On Beginning From Within,” p. 17).

Questions for Reflection

1. What wisdom do you have to share with others?

2. Who are the sages who have enriched your life?

3. In what sense is Jesus the wisdom and the power of God?

Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

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