Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Advent Week 3 - O Wisdom

O Sapientia

These are the last days of the Advent season, the days of the “O” antiphons and this evening we will be calling upon the LORD who is Wisdom – to come and to teach us the way of truth.

          “O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High.
          You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner.
          O come, to teach us the way of truth.”

We know that on the day of our Confirmation, we were blessed with the gift of wisdom when we received the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  So it may be truly said, that the way of wisdom – the desire for wisdom – is nothing other than a desire for God.  So, in these days of anticipation of the LORD – God Himself, becoming even one of us – it is fitting to remember that wisdom is very closely related also to wonder.

When Christmas is held to be a season of wonder and amazement at the incredible humility of God; when we enter into the mystery with hearts open to receiving and believing in all that the LORD has in His Heart for us – then also, our eyes, too, being to see everything more clearly: we begin to see the truth and through the wisdom implanted in us – we can discern the meaning of all life: the truth about our own lives; and to value absolutely everything as a most precious and divine gift.  It is possible at last, to hear the Word of the LORD and to know that His word to us and for us, is a word of unimaginable, wonderful and amazing love.

How does one respond to such love?  We could not even hope to merit such a tremendous gift, and yet it is ours unconditionally.  So how can we, so to say, express our appreciation to the LORD for all He has invited us to receive? 
If we are moved to respond authentically to such a great love, the words of St Paul in today’s second reading at Mass – taken from his First Letter to the Thessalonians – seem to capture the essence of how to live this life wisely:

          “Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God. …
          …  Never try to suppress the Spirit or treat the gift of prophecy with contempt;
          think before you do anything – hold on to what is good
          and avoid every form of evil … … …”

The wonderful thing about the gift of faith seems to me to be that through it, we awaken in ourselves – or we are more disposed to desire to live our lives authentically, and according to the truth.

What better gift, then, could we ask of the LORD, than the gift of wisdom … for ourselves and for those for whom we care? 

We pray for the Church and all her members: on his birthday, we pray especially for Pope Francis, that he may be guided in all things by the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Truth, and that – together with him, we too may grow in our love for wisdom and truth.

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