Scripture: Saturday, March 5, 2011. Lectionary # 352
Sirach is coming to the end of our readings on his magnificent long essay
and study of wisdom from his own personal experience and learning. He has
walked us through the paths of wisdom and has helped us in our own ongoing
formation in the wise way of the Spirit and Sophia (Wisdom, God’s
handmaid). All of us want to be as fully human as possible. One
University even makes this the meaning behind its Humanities
Building,namely, what does it mean to be fully human? It helps those who
visit the building both outside and inside by studying the panels of those
who searched the meaning of being human–scientists, poets, novel writers,
saints etc. are among the sculpted frames on the side of the building.
These men and women show us what it means to be human. Our friend Sirach
concentrated on that in his whole work,one of the longest in the Bible and
certainly the longest among the Wisdom Books.
The passage may easily be linked to the fifth chapter of Lumen Gentium, the
Constitution on the Church that was promulgated by the Ecumenical Council
of Vatican II: “The Call of the Whole Church to Holiness”. This passage
and the one from Sirach above may help us in understanding the call of the
mother of Jesus to help us realize that we are all destined to be holy.
That every woman and man is created in the likeness and image of God
(Gen.1:27). Mary, in view of her Son Jesus’ redemptive death on the Cross,
was redeemed by him from the first moment of her conception. We are not to
be envious of her in the light of what Epesians 1:3-10 says about us and
the salvific plan of God! All peoples before, during, and after Jesus are
in God’s plan of redemptive history and it is through the Word made flesh
that this comes about. No matter who we are, nor what our religion is, we
should all buy into that better and loftier plan and become creative agents
of God’s redemptive love.
Mark gives us continually the road to the Cross in his Gospel and it is
rough and difficult to accept it. Yet, he has made Jesus so human that we
are able to take up the daily crosses we face, and follow him like the
cured Bartimaeus. We too arrive at the new Jerusalem, the heavenly one at
the end of our historical journey. Amen.