Scripture: lectionary 491. Monday, Nov. 11. Wisdom 1:1-7. Psalm 139: 1-3,4-6,7-8. Luke 17:1-6:
Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. This gift will be presented to us in our first reading this week. We start with the first seven verses of the Book of Wisdom today and continue to up to chapter 19:6-9. This particular book is a deuteron-canonical one and was originally written in Greek. Belonging to Wisdom books of the Bible are also the following: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Didactic Psalms, and Ecclesiasticus or Sirach. The Liturgy chooses Wisdom as our nourishment for this week.
Readers of the Bible will naturally come to see Wisdom as permeating all of the Scriptures in some way for they are divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit who gives us Wisdom as the summit of the seven gifts of the Spirit: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord (reverence of God). Wisdom Literature leaves no doubt that piety and Fear of the Lord are the beginning of Wisdom (see Psalm 111:10).
Jesus is Wisdom personified and God’ word and Jesus’ words are entrusted to us by the Holy Spirit who teaches and forms us into the ways of Wisdom.
We learn from the very first Psalm that wisdom is the right way to God. All of the alphabetical psalms are psalms of Wisdom. Today’s Psalm 139 is probably the most profound experience of Wisdom in an individual’s soul and is meant for us, the readers and people who pray this psalm. It explores the depths of our souls and shows us how closely we are knit and bound to our Creator and Redeemer. This psalm probes our inner most self in a personal encounter and summons us to transform our lives by the paths of Wisdom. We pray in our response, “Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way” which is the way of Wisdom.
In the Gospel we see Jesus as Wisdom in his teachings and his actions. He is giving us instructions about our behavior patterns. We are not to harm the “little ones” in any way; we are not to be involved in scandal and we must forgive one another always. We learn how to do this through our faith and our trust in Jesus our Way, Truth, and Life. Our faith is to grow like that of a mustard seed which can overcome all obstacles while being productive and strong.
A helpful meditation thought is taken from another book of Wisdom, that of Proverbs: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before the works of old.” (Proverbs 8:22). This verse is also applied by us to the Mother of Jesus who is the Seat of Wisdom. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.