Scripture Reflections- Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Proverbs 9:1-6; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6: 51-58

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week’s readings in one way or another invite us to reflect upon the meaning of Wisdom.  Proverbs extolls it, St. Paul exhorts us to be wise and Jesus is the very personification of Wisdom.

What is Wisdom?

Wisdom is more than knowledge.   These days, facts are at our fingertips and anyone with thumbs and a smart phone or a computer can access them in an instant.   Intelligence doesn’t make you wise, either.   How many people with M.B.A. degrees gleefully and greedily misused their financial intelligence to drive the U.S. economy off of a cliff.?

Wisdom is more about an intelligence of the soul.  It’s a gift from God that combines Understanding and Prudence and Compassion and, most of all, Love.  Wisdom is the ability to look at a situation as God looks at it and to know what is important.

Think of the story in the gospel when Jesus is preaching to a crowd so large that every available nook and cranny in the house is filled (Mark 2: 1-12).  Four enterprising men dig a hole in the roof of what in Mark’s version is likely a dwelling whose ceiling is composed mostly of wood and dried mud.   Imagine the mess that rained down on Jesus’ head as the ceiling came down while the four men lower their crippled comrade in a stretcher so that Jesus might heal him.

All that Jesus notices is the need.  Despite what must have been a scene of great chaos, Jesus’ first words are directed right at the crippled man; “Child, your sins are forgiven.” (These words make more sense when you keep in mind that, in Jesus’ time and culture, chronic physical ailments were often seen as outward manifestations of the spiritual illness of sin.)   That’s Wisdom.

Who is the wisest person that you know?  In that difficult situation you have been dealing with – what is the most important thing you need to consider? How does the situation look through Jesus’ eyes?

Jim Philipps(3rd millennium pilgrim)

(To purchase book-length collections of my writings on the scriptures, go to www.twentythirdpublication.com.  Books are also available through www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com)

 

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