February 16, 2020
Dear Seekers of Wisdom,
As we progress into the liturgical year, we encounter a set of scripture readings where wisdom becomes not only the theme but also a new challenge. Wisdom is often illusive. Wisdom is seldom tacked down or certain. Wisdom requires of us much work and discernment. Wisdom is the outcome of prayer and living a life of integrity. Wisdom cannot be bought or sold. Wisdom is found when hearts are raw and restless and when they search for depth and meaning. Wisdom comes only after trial and mistakes, after hardship and even sin. We cannot find the destination of wisdom until we experience being lost or hardened by our mistakes.
We all have experienced a toddler ask the endless question, “Why?” There is no final answer to satisfy an inquisitive little person who is exploring the world. There is always another, “why” for an urchin exploring the boundaries of a new world. The question, “why”, becomes an introduction into becoming wise. However, we know as adults that becoming wise is not just a matter of asking questions about a world outside ourselves; it becomes a matter of living from an interior knowledge of the common good. In other words, wisdom is a lot of work. Integrity takes time and faith. Moving beyond a childish faith is never easy.
In today’s gospel, Matthew 5:17-37, we hear our challenge to move into wisdom as it relates to many of our relationships. Forgiveness is required of us as we move from selfishness. Offering a brother our forgiveness is an act of faith and generosity. This example is no just a commandment or a request from God. Being able to sift through our broken relationships and to discern what is just and healthy is the beginning of living our faith.
Living our faith as adults is complex. We do not just adhere to a set of rules and quickly discover wisdom. We do not just implement Jesus’ commandments and all of sudden discover that our hearts are free. We do not come to the Eucharist once and then we have all we need to live the Christian life. Instead, wisdom comes from entering into the territory of our failures, our sins, our ongoing need of conversion and change. We do not memorize catechisms and then think we have all the answers. Living faith and love in the world is not child’s play. The gospel is designed for beginners and for mature hearts. We pray and act in our world constantly being renewed in Jesus, the source of all wisdom and integrity.
Here are some questions to consider:
What is the role of forgiveness in your life? How have broken relationships allowed you to grow in faith?
How would you define, “wisdom?” How do you grow into such a place of faith?
What are the most challenging aspects of wisdom?
Let us all live toward the horizon of love, satisfaction and integrity. Perhaps some day, we shall make our homes in the wisdom God has for us all.