Wisdom Is Seeing Things from God's Perspective

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Clergy Corner for November 12, 2017, 32d Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 6:12-16; Psalm 63:2-8; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Mt 25:1-13

Who among us does not want to be wise? For we know that wisdom leads to happiness and blessings in this life, while the lack of it leads to problems and suffering. See, e.g., Ps 49:21 ("For all their riches, if mortals do not have wisdom, they perish like the beasts"); 119:1-2, 93.

How do we get wisdom? Well, "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Pvb 9:10). Wisdom flows out of our relationship with the Lord and grows from knowledge of what God has revealed to His people. See, e.g., Ps 119:2, 66, 97-100. 

Wisdom is a gift of the Spirit (Isa 11:2). Thus, we can ask the Lord for it:

"[I]f any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it" (James 1:5). 

True wisdom consists of seeing things from God's perspective, of understanding how we were created by God and how he wants us to live, of knowing what God – who is all wise – wants done in any given situation.

We develop such wisdom by learning about God's nature (manifested fully in Christ), by knowing God's precepts (revealed through Scripture and Church teaching), and by following God's leadings (through prayerful listening to the Holy Spirit, tested by discernment and counsel).

"God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world. God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself. God is also truthful when he reveals himself -- the teaching that comes from God is 'true instruction'. When he sends his Son into the world it [is] 'to bear witness to the truth': 'We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true'" (CCC 216-17).

Wisdom is given to guide us on our journey through life, a journey on which we walk by faith in Christ, not by sight (see 2 Cor 5:7). Thus, Jesus tells the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins to teach us to stay spiritually alert on our journey and to always keep the light of faith burning brightly.

May the Lord grant us an ever deeper desire to know Him, faith to follow Him, and wisdom to serve Him. 

Tags: Fr. Runnion, Clergy Corner

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