Daily Reflection
February 21st, 2000
Cathy Weiss Pedersen
Marriage Preparation
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

James 3:13-18
Psalms 19:8-10, 15
Mark 9:14-29

Jesus’ followers learned much as they traveled with him.  They were beginning to understand that they were called to share this knowledge/wisdom with others, to serve the needs of others whom they met along the way.  

Yet in today’s gospel, the disciples realize they don’t know everything.  They ask Jesus, “Why can’t we cure the boy?  Why can’t we expel the spirit of muteness and deafness?”  And Jesus replied, “This kind cannot be driven out at all, except through prayer.”

In today’s reading from James, we are reminded that not all wisdom is of God.  However, “wisdom from above is innocent…works for peace…is kind and considerate…full of compassion and shows itself by doing good.”  Jas. 3, 17

Each of us gains knowledge and wisdom from our years of living, of learning, and of integrating these two spheres.  In our university setting we are called to impart wisdom, knowledge and skills – a preparation for ongoing life with our students.

But isn’t this what most of us attempt to do in our daily lives with those whom we live and work, whether or not we are in an educational setting?

But how do we wish to share our wisdom, our knowledge, what we learn from our experiences?  With ‘kindness and consideration’- ready and willing to help and be with others no matter who asks?  Or are we selective…being careful with whom we will share our time, talents, wisdom?  True enough, there needs to be a certain amount of selectivity so that we are not dissipated…scattered to the winds, unfocused.  However, do we view wisdom as ‘ours’ – to be dispensed as we see fit, or do we recognize its giftedness in the spirit?  

How often is it possible to “strut our stuff ‘ …be so eager to spread our knowledge/wisdom that we do it with a certain competitiveness, arrogance, …interrupt another to be heard?

The other day at a luncheon with friends we were discussing children.  I found myself listening to my friend, assessing her situation, then advising her what I would do.  This type of interaction continued, until another friend at the table asked, ‘But what does your son want to do?  What does he think?”  Whoops…I realized in my wisdom as a seasoned mother, that I had run off at the mouth with my knowledge and wisdom of many years’ experience, but forgot that the important focus was the son…what did he want/need?  

How often are we tempted to eagerly share our side, our perspective, our knowledge, even our wisdom…yet, forget that it is in interacting with others that a sharing of wisdom takes place rather than standing out as if we had all of the answers.  

James reminds us that we are called to be peacemakers in our wisdom…what a strange connection!  Basically we are being called to serve others (rather than our own egos) with our wisdom…to make opportunities for peace, for collaboration (rather than competition)…to honor our own wisdom, but also to seek the wisdom of others, too. 

Rather hard words…maybe a little confusing in a culture that esteems the ones who get to the top…in academics, in business, in sports, in wealth, even in leisure.

Is our wisdom from above or earthbound in struggle, competition, and self-serving purposes?  Is our wisdom of God…do we recognize it as gift of God?  Do we invite God into our sharing of wisdom…in prayer, in listening to and honoring others’ wisdom, and reflecting on our wisdom within as a process with the spirit? 

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook