Our first reading is from the book of wisdom also known as the book of the wisdom of Solomon. The principle here which is central to the scriptures is one that I mention all the time. If it is perfection that you seek, then make pursuing wisdom your prime objective.
I always warn against making morality the end all of our faith. Wisdom teaches us the morality. If we pursue morality without wisdom, then we will not understand the motive and will make it a tyrannical force.
The catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that God is power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom and justice. Each of those are actually united as the same thing in God. If you seek God, then seek to know him in all that he is. Wisdom is that door.
Wisdom also leads us towards the fullness of what it means to be human. The first part of that understanding is the realization that this is a process and none of us are perfectly human by any stretch of the imagination.
If you truly want to come to be everything God created you to be then do not only pursue wisdom wholeheartedly but live it and teach it. Wisdom is like a rudder on a ship. If you move the rudder towards wisdom the entire ship will follow. If you move the rudder away from wisdom then the entire ship will follow.
Wisdom is that which we gain from seeking that personal relationship with Christ by being in prayer with him and centering our lives around him. Wisdom cannot be taught it has to be discovered and even revealed.
Just because I have a Master of Divinity Degree and have twenty seven years of priestly ordination does not mean that I am by default wise. You cannot learn the deepest form of wisdom in a classroom. You learn it through seeking Christ every day. So, the question should not be to me can I see your diploma, but Father do you pray? The diploma indicates education, prayer is the way to wisdom.
Therefore, a simple warning to you and it is a common mistake even among the laity—do not assume that you have no wisdom just because you do not have the education. Do not assume that you are not wiser than someone who has a theology degree. True wisdom comes from on high and it comes to us from knowing the deepest parts of what Christ teaches.
There is a fascinating saying I learned prior to entering the seminary. Actually, I heard it during a homily at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Massachusetts: “Your grandmother knows more theology than you will ever learn in the seminary.”
It is true.
So, my job is not for me to teach you wisdom, my job here is to lead you to find the path of wisdom which we all seek. Therefore, it is essential that we seek Christ individually as a community and in that we learn from each other how to grow in Wisdom.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that we are all on a journey toward the ultimate perfection, hence we are all in a state of journeying. In fact, it also warns that this process involves the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached its perfection.
We cannot understand that principle if we are not in touch with the source of all wisdom. We will assume we understand perfection as much as we understand imperfection. We will use our own uninspired intellect to create our own belief in what a perfect world looks like. It will fail every time because we do not understand perfection unless we listen well to the words of the essence of wisdom.
The door to wisdom is simple—humility. The simple understanding that God is God and we are his creation. Once we understand that then we embrace the three words that Socrates said define wisdom “I don’t know.”
We can then humbly ask for the enlightenment we need to begin to know.
St. James tells us if we pray for wisdom expect that it will be granted to you.
Wisdom is the greatest need we always have in our lives because it will lead us to know Christ and to become the fullness of what we were created to be.
If you want to seek wisdom, embrace humility.
Let us take a look at what wisdom might look like today:
First you know I hate the concept of Catholics using Twitter except to link to good material. I came to realize that there is no Twitter in Heaven and in Hell you have unlimited use of the platform.
Governor Baker issued a directive that masks must be worn outside at all times. A New England based Catholic pundit wrote on Twitter that neither that writer nor the governor have any authority to enforce it. I assume that to be true.
From a Catholic position, however, should we wear the mask or tell the governor he has no authority to make that statement and march out of here sans mask? The answer is simple—We should wear the mask.
Our duty is not to obey the governor just because he is the governor, our duty is to obey the governor in the name of Christ. We may disagree with the mandate and by the way I do disagree with it, however, by obeying it, we are serving Christ in the name of charity.
In the future, we may pressure the legislature to curtail the emergency powers of the governor or any other authority but presently our obeying the governor is an act of charity that is not submission to his power, it submission to Christ’s in the name of charity to the authorities and obedience to Christ.
St. Paul called us to live at a higher standard than the law allows. If you wear the mask, even though like me, you disagree with the whole thing, you will be growing in your service and witness to Christ which is our first mandate. That will lead you to a deeper wisdom.
By Antonio Zucchi - Art UK, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91908722