November 16, 2023
by Larry Hopp
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 494

Wisdom 7:22b-8:1
Psalms 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175
Luke 17:20-25

Praying Ordinary Time Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

In today’s instant information age, we are continuously bombarded with people’s thoughts and ideas about just about everything.  Things that in ages past seemed basic logic or irreputable fact are no longer embraced as truth.  Fortunately, today’s readings shed incredible light upon the actual source of all wisdom and truth. The kind of wisdom we so desperately need as we make our way through this life.  These readings provide a comprehensive definition of what true wisdom really is. 

Our first reading is found in the book of wisdom.  Much like love is clearly outlined in the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians, here we are led through a litany of what wisdom looks like and how to recognize true wisdom.  We see that wisdom is holy, clear, unstained (pure), certain, and incredibly beneficial, among other characteristics.  These adjectives clearly point us to the source of all wisdom - God.  The initial definition of wisdom is followed by a deeper description, including terms such as all-powerful, all-seeing, and pervading all spirits.  Little thought is needed to conclude that true wisdom is the essence of our God.  Wisdom is really “an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty”.  While we fall short of this supernatural definition of wisdom, it certainly lies at the heart of our lifelong sanctification goal of becoming more like Jesus.  To live a life filled with His fruit.

So then how are we to recognize and apply wisdom when we are bombarded with so many viewpoints, some of which are actually the antithesis of wisdom.  Psalm 119, among many other clear admonitions throughout the bible provides a succinct answer to where to go to find truth and wisdom   – God’s Word.  We are reminded that His “word is for ever”, that it’s “truth endures” through all generations.  These characteristics clearly point us to God.  They shed light and provide understanding – the pathway leading to the kind of life that God has in mind for each of us.

Today’s Alleluia provides insight as to how wisdom is achieved – simply remaining in God as He remains in us!  Selecting and staying faithfully engaged in the plan He has designed specifically for each of us will require much wisdom - biblical wisdom.  The only way that we can hope to avoid detours along that road is to stay engaged with the Bible, testing everything life throws at us against His holy Word.  Relying upon His continual guidance.   Only then will we be able to bear the kind of fruit our Savior has envisioned for us since before the start of time. 

Lest we seek wisdom for its sake alone, the Gospel for today paints a clear picture of what we are to do with God’s wisdom. Recognizing that “Behold the kingdom of God is among you.”  That truth reminds us that we must be an active part of His kingdom every moment of every day.  Using His wisdom and truth to bear  fruit through our lives.  Jesus reminds us that we can expect many trials and distractions.  Certainly, keeping our focus upon and relying upon  God and His will for us is our only hope.  His wisdom clears away all the clutter in our lives and helps us maintain our focus upon our Savior.  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your holy Word - the source of all truth. Your  wisdom is so desperately needed in the mixed-up world we find ourselves in.  We need your wisdom  to help us maintain our focus upon you.  Help us to be an effective part of your kingdom – to be a light bearing much fruit - all of which points to you alone.
  In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen

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