Where does wisdom lie? For the Greeks, wisdom meant to “know thyself.” For Sirach, wisdom calls the Jewish people to remember who they are. They are the people who drift into the service of idols. God sends prophets to open their eyes and castigate their kings. They forget God, yet God never abandons them. To know themselves is to realize how great is God’s mercy and love.
The Greek sage transcends ignorance and illusion. This truth demands purity. In Sirach, the community can face its failing and pretence because they are known by God. In sinfulness, not purity, truth is revealed.
Jesus shows us how to pray. We don’t need magic words to entice God. In praying, we recognize who we are. But finding ourselves is not easy. You give us the words. We gradually learn their meaning.
We come from a God whose presence we trust. We belong to God and to each other. The source of our being and unity evokes praise. In praying, we long for the kingdom, because this mottled world does not measure the whole of reality. But hunger cannot wait. God hears our desires, and what we receive is enough. Our daily bread sustains us. With burdens lifted off our shoulders, we follow God and forgive others. Disappointment gives way to freedom. We ask you not to test us beyond our strength. Stay close, you whom we call Father.
You know what I need before I ask. When I finally get home, there you are.
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