Recently, I entered the wonderful world of grand-motherhood. These past five months have opened an awe inspiring journey as I marvel at the gift of new life in our grandson. I am again invited into the world of wonder as I watch Henry take in the world around him…the people in his life as he begins to recognize faces and sounds of voices, his hands and feet as he reaches for his toys and books, and even his voice as he coos and squeals in responsive ‘conversation’ with us. This is the beginning of Henry’s path to knowledge of his universe as he observes and drinks in all that he sees, touches, tastes, hears and smells, even before he has words or meaning for it all.
And so I read today’s passage from Sirach with a new appreciation in God’s gift of wisdom. “It is God who has created Her (wisdom)…who has poured Her forth upon all God’s works, upon every living creature, as a gift.” I marvel at the magnificent present of understanding that comes from God. Yet wisdom is more than observation, experience and knowledge of what is around us. True…it is important to study and learn as much as we can in our various academic disciplines, professions, and walks of life so that we may better understand our world. However, unless we step back to reflect on the meaning of our knowledge, we will bring little insight and wisdom. This is certainly evident as we attempt to address the current economic challenges in our nation and our world. It is apparent when we are puzzled by a persistent health problem that refuses healing, regardless of various medications and/or treatments. And it is painfully obvious on the occasion of our day to day struggles in our personal relationships.
Jesus’ disciples also faced this kind of challenge in today’s Gospel. As Jesus, Peter and John approach a small crowd, the parent of a young child begs Jesus to do something to heal the child suffering from convulsions. Some of the disciples had tried unsuccessfully to cast out the mute spirit from the child.
The parent pleads, “From infancy, the spirit often throws our little one into the fire and into the water. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us!” Jesus responds that all things are possible to those who believe; he then casts out the mute and deaf spirit from the child. Privately, the disciples ask Jesus why they couldn’t expel the spirit. Jesus explained that this kind of spirit can only be driven out through prayer.
The disciples had learned much from Jesus and thought they could help others.
How often do I/we depend on our knowledge base, bring all our understanding to a problem, and yet feel helpless…wondering what went wrong and second guessing ourselves?
Today’s scriptures remind me that regardless of all the knowledge and resources that are available to me, I need to take time to step back, reflect with others’ wisdom, and invite God in…open myself to insight and wisdom in order to truly ‘see’ a solution.
My prayer today is that I/we do take a step or two back…and open ourselves prayerfully to God’s wisdom and understanding in our day to day world.
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