Scripture: Lectionary 495: Wisdom 13:1-9. Psalm 19:2-3.4-5. Luke 17:26-37

Friday's Readings

Wisdom continues to be our nourishment through the Holy Scriptures.  We now
see how it touches upon the philosophical and theological destiny of humans
and how their search for meaning is necessarily a battle with good and
evil.   Wisdom is a theodicy of divine inspiration given to the author from
Alexandria, Egypt.  He writes close to the time of Philo, Paul, and Jesus;
perhaps as late as 50 B.C.  He is now in chapter thirteen attacking the
great problems of life, sin, and evil. Idolatry is the focus over against
knowing about God through creation and seeing how good creation is in
contrast to all other thoughts about it that are idolatrous.  Only by
fidelity to the true traditions of Israel and the Torah are correct in what
Wisdom is.  “Wisdom is a gift of God. Genuine  wisdom means belief in the
one God of Israel and fidelity to his law. Wisdom delivers the believer
from all evil…Revelation in Wisdom is an internal and the guide of
life.” (J.L.McKenzie).

Today we are pushed more into the realm of philosophical and existential
thought by the revealed word of God in the Book of Wisdom.  We recall the
five proofs of Thomas Aquinas in thinking about the existence of God
especially through first cause and uncreated cause.  We think of
Augustine’s struggle with the beauty of created things and forgetting about
the loving Creator.  St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans comes to mind as he
offers evidence of God’s work in creation to help those who are searchers
find God in the works of creation.

Our own reason and our experience are part of the way in which we get in
touch with God’s revealed Wisdom in this book.  We realize that when we
take time to pray and reason about our faith we realize the world, the
cosmos, and all of nature  helps us to speculate and pray about the
Creator.  We need to be influenced by our faith when we read the
Scriptures.  Our reflections are spurred on by a living faith and an
enduring hope that lead us to charity toward the other who may not believe
or even resist believing in the existence of God. Through our own faith we
accept what Wisdom is telling us.

Psalm nineteen is a wisdom psalm and helps us to enter the world of
spiritual wonder and amazement like that of a child discovering things for
the first time.  “The heavens proclaim the glory of God and the firmament
his handiwork.”

Jesus shows us his teaching in a wisdom manner by using his own Scriptures
in Genesis to speak of Noah and the flood, then Lot and the destruction of
Sodom and Gemorrah.  Jesus leads us to think about the end and the final
cause of creation which leads us to redemption and the Coming of the
Messiah.  Wisdom speaks of the beginning; Jesus of the end. He, of course,
speaks of both at times since he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning
and the end.  We need both a loving creator and a compassionate and
powerful redeemer to understand who is the judge of all of life and
creation.  We learn how to reach our goal from Jesus the fountain and
source of wisdom. Amen.