Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Cover art and column

Nov. 18, 2018 Bulletin Cover

Dear Followers of Jesus,

Today’s first reading from Daniel says, “But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” As we come closer now to the conclusion of our liturgical year, we hear more about the end times and how we are to act as we wait for our redemption. We also listen attentively to what awaits us beyond the earth, in our afterlife.

The phrase about the wise catches my attention. I have been thinking about what it means to be wise in these past few months. Maybe because I celebrated another birthday a couple of weeks ago, or maybe because God is trying to get my attention about how to live and how to form some new priorities in my soul now that I am a bit older. Whatever the reason, I think it is a good idea to reflect on wisdom no matter our age or vocation.

Wisdom is hard to come by. Being wise is neither a personal attribute nor easily defined by an individual. I know wisdom when I hear it. I can see wisdom like a bright splendor when I come across a person who beholds such a mystery. I can hear wisdom in scripture and poetry. I can see wisdom in a painting or on a mural as street art. I can feel it vibrate my soul when I hear from a weathered priest speaking about his experience and what is most real. I can capture it for a fleeting moment on the wings of a poem in our poetry class at the parish. Wisdom is something, however, I wish I could capture and take home and drink tea with it. I wish it was a person, vitally young, so I could live with it for a long time. Wisdom comes as vibrant color or from the dry mouth of dying person. Wisdom can be seen on Tuesdays at a café or on Sundays as an elderly man reads this text from Daniel.

I would love to dine with wisdom, but I wonder if wisdom pays the bills? I would like to have wisdom in my writing, but I swear that it seldom exists on my computer. In this world of Twitter and fast-pace communications, I wonder if wisdom has left the building. I also wonder if wisdom would be noticed if it sat in front of us, since for sure we would be texting our opinions and our self-righteousness to someone whom we think should change and see the value of our opinion.

What is wisdom for? I hold on to the belief that wisdom is of God. Wisdom forms our ability to sort through all the obstacles of life to find its beauty, its love and its miracles. I know somewhere underneath all of our childish ways a kernel of wisdom waits to whisper in our ear that God’s love is really for us and that love is more than we can ever imagine.

Peace on Earth,

Fr. Ron

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