Today we turn to the Book of Wisdom, written about a hundred years before the coming of Christ from the introduction to this book in the New American Bible. The author, is not really known, but was a member of the Alexandrian community in Egypt. At times the author speaks in the person of Solomon, placing his teachings on the lips of the wise king of Hebrew tradition in order to emphasize their value. His knowledge of the Old Testament is reflected in almost every line of the book, a person of deep religious devotion and learning. I believe they are words to build up a community that had experienced oppression and suffering.
When the world and all that goes on it begs for understanding we seek wisdom, careful reflection on the issues in order to deliberate on these issues in a prudent manner for the common good. We understand that true wisdom is a gift of God that goes beyond human understanding. To rise above worldly concerns and govern people in a way that benefits them spiritually and personally. True wisdom is of God that leads us in the manner we live our lives, so that the things of this world don’t unduly distract us from growing closer to God, grow closer to Christ.
Who is a wise person in your life? Some people mention a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, neighbor or friend, someone who has grown and learned from their life experiences and the life experiences of others.
Wisdom does not necessarily always come through education, though education is exceedingly important when it leads to reflection on the meaning and purpose of our lives. With only a grade school education, I believe my mother had a good measure of wisdom at least in her desire to pass on wise sayings. The most challenging saying, that I remember her telling us, is “If you don’t have something good to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” More often than not, there is some wisdom in that saying to avoid gossip. As we move into this month of September, let us pray for discernment, pray for the ability to learn from our experiences in light of God’s Word, and put that Word into practice as the words of the Book of Wisdom unfold for us to bring justice and peace to all those who need it.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor