We have just this past week celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother. One of the titles we give to Mary is “Our Lady, seat of wisdom”. Mary’s womb is compared to a vessel that carries Our Lord. Our readings today talk of wisdom in very human terms. Wisdom is like a mother who has prepared a banquet and invites all to come and eat. This of course is taken up by Jesus in the Gospel who presents himself as that very banquet that will bring us eternal life. I looked up a few interesting points about wisdom for you.
According to St. Bernard, Wisdom is considered the first and the greatest of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It acts upon both the intellect and the will. It both illumines the mind and instills an attraction to the divine. Adolphe Tanquerey OP, explained the difference between the gift of wisdom and that of understanding: “The latter is a view taken by the mind, while the former is an experience undergone by the heart; one is light, the other love, and so they unite and complete one another.” A wise and loving heart is the perfection of the theological virtue of charity. Vatican Council 1 tells us to use the two gifts of faith and reason.
Scripture reveals the true beauty and fruit of wisdom. Psalm 111:10: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understand- ing. His praise endures forever!” Wisdom begins with knowing who God is and who we are in comparison to Him. That leads to understanding and then to practicing righteousness. A life of wisdom ultimately results in the praise of God. This is why we have a penitential rite at the start of Mass; to remind us of the right relationship we should have with God so that we can truly listen to his Word and be nourished by his table sacrifice. James 3:17 says “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, im- partial and sincere.” This is the Holy Spirit working in the life of a believer. The highest wisdom is found in the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18)
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter