Daily Reflection
May 18th, 2005

Jeanne Schuler

Philosophy Department
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Sirach 4:11-19
Psalm 119:165, 168, 171, 172, 174, 175
Mark 9:38-40

Instructed by Wisdom

After 40 days in the desert, Jesus was tempted by the unholy one. “Throw yourself from these cliffs and angels will save you.” Tempted by magic. As always Jesus reveals who we are.

The design of creation has been long criticized: If God exists, why do the innocent suffer? Why doesn’t God erase hate from our hearts? Why is pain common and pleasure rare? Why must we grow old and feeble? Surely, this world could be better.

What magic lures us? A life of leisure without ambiguity, risk, or failure? Perhaps a surveillance system where heavenly zaps keep us from straying. Why didn’t God send us to obedience school before entrusting us with freedom?

Sure we want salvation, but keep it cheap. Bunkered in with complaints, we miss the goodness of this world, let alone God.

You promise Wisdom to those who open their eyes and learn to see. What do we see? How we cannot love in the smallest way without opening our lives to suffering. How mercy washes down like spring rain. How we are born for belief and starve without it. How we learn to judge by listening. How truth exists greater than our gnawing doubts and secret dreams. How stepping beyond fear into relationship tells us who we are.

When we demand clarity on our fixed terms, we cannot see. When trouble arises and we cry for help, something emerges from the shadows. In the presence of Wisdom, we find ourselves in this world. We give thanks for what is and for what is not. We become real.

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