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MIDNIGHT MUSINGS

Wisdom

                  Wisdom is different from intelligence. Intelligence is knowing in the head, facts and information, an ability maybe measured by IQ. Wisdom is knowing in the heart, understanding values to live by and the purpose of life. Some intelligent people lack wisdom, a sense of values, an understanding of the purpose of life. Other people with lesser IQ’s have real wisdom; they know why they live; they have a sense of purpose and meaning based on values. Today’s scriptures are about living values.

                  Our first reading is from the Book of Wisdom, written in the 1st cent. BC, a book not found in Protestant bibles. The book of Wisdom was produced by a Jew­ish community living in Alexandria, Egypt. It was written to encourage fellow Jews to preserve monotheism and moral values amid opposition.

                  The letter of James appeared in the 1st cent. AD. The Christian community of James faced trials; persecution from outside was not the issue, but Christians themselves who did not live up to their faith.

                  In the gospel: Jesus speaks of his own self-sacrifice and wisdom of serving others to the apostles who are slow to catch on to Jesus’ divine wisdom.

                  Jesus asked his disciples what they were talking and arguing about on the way to Capernaum. They were silent and embarrassed; they were talking about which one of them was the greatest. One thing they understood; they knew they were wrong; they were silent when he asked– the silence of shame. While he was not listening, they could say what they wanted, but in his presence, the argument was seen in its real light, in all its pettiness and unworthiness.

                  If we took everything and set it in the sight of Jesus, it would make all the difference in the world. Could I go on doing/ saying this/that, if Jesus was watching?  e.g., WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? Christians know there is no “if”; Jesus is always watching. We suppress it or ignore it; we can’t bear to think he sees us. Wisdom is seeing things as God sees them, as Christ sees them. God’s presence keeps us from words and deeds that we would be ashamed for him to see and hear. The author Washington Irving once wrote, “Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes.” Wisdom in living makes the difference.

Fr. Paul Image

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Paul Vuturo