Aim: To realise the various dimensions of true wisdom, mainly Jesus, his Word, the Cross.
Jesus-Wisdom in the Temple (Lk 2:46-52): After three days they found Jesus in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety”. He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.
Jesus speaks with wisdom (Mk 6:1-3): Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
The wisdom of the cross (1 Cor 1:22-25): Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
After realising the various manifestations of the “wisdom of the world” and its deceitful ways, we feel called to look for and embrace “true wisdom”.
The evangelist Luke, by placing the adolescent Jesus “in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions”, identifies him as the incarnate Wisdom described in abstract terms in the book of Sirach: “Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory” (24:1-2).
Now Wisdom has become flesh and lives among us (cf. Jn 1:14). Wisdom is Jesus who calls us to enter into an intimate relationship with him. He invites us to take his words seriously, to treasure and ponder them in our heart (cf. Lk 2:51) and not to demean them as his hometown people did.
Jesus Christ proves to be the Wisdom of God particularly through his ability to empty the cross of its foolishness and to transform it into “power and wisdom of God”. He invests so much into this extraordinary transformation as to identify Wisdom with the Cross (cf. LEW 180) and to “incorporate and unite himself” with the Cross: “Never the Cross without Jesus, or Jesus without the Cross” (LEW 172).
Personal Reflection and Sharing
True Wisdom is a relationship with three inseparable realities: the person of Jesus, his Word and his way of viewing the cross.
How am I “called” today to see and experience Wisdom in these three “inseparable realities”?