Several years ago while at a wedding reception I met a man who wanted to introduce me to his “amazing wife Tara” and his “incredible son Jason.” I’ve never seen him since then but I remember his over-use of adjectives.
The scriptures this Sunday invite us to focus on wisdom; wisdom as a banquet (Proverbs), wisdom as opposed to foolishness (Paul), and the wisdom that is the true and genuine bread of life, Jesus Himself.
The way of wisdom is the way of pondering. It’s slow-moving. It’s where we embrace our questions. Can we be altruistic instead of narcissistic? Can we be generous instead of greedy? Can we listen with our hearts, not just with our minds? Can we offer our attention rather than our opinions? Wisdom is about being in touch with what’s inside us, the deeper contours of life. It’s awareness of the many tensions that hold life together. It looks beyond the obvious.
I watch David Attenborough’s documentaries on nature and especially his recent series on the Blue Planet. Animal life across the earth seems to thrive on three things: a nest, food and mating. Humans need a home and hearth, nourishment of mind and body, and finally companionship. These are the basics of human thriving.
The reading this Sunday from Proverbs echoes the cultural role of women at the time as homemakers, nurturers and companions. Lady Wisdom is a metaphor – in her encounter with God who brings us home, and who sustains and loves us. We are invited in the Psalm to taste and see this kind of life. It’s the life promised by Jesus when he said: ‘I came that you might have life and have it to the full’ – John 10:10.
The way of wisdom is the way of Jesus – a way of living to the full and being able to distinguish our enduring needs from our passing wants. Life to the full is not had in the experience of power, status, wealth, entertainment or pleasure. I believe it is most fully experienced when we accept the invitation to faith – to deep and personal trust in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ and the meaning of his death and resurrection.
When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are most fully ourselves as we accomplish that for which we were/are created. ‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes’ – 1 Cor 11:26.
Fr. QQ. 8/17/18