When I was distressed by the expectations to get good grades in school, a wise person shared that in a class of 40 pupils, only one can top it and unfortunately another has to end up in fortieth. In life, she went on to say, some will become doctors while some will humbly accept their vocation as cleaners. Both vocations are however important and necessary for the world to function. Her wisdom stemmed from her experiences that in life God has a place and a role every person.
Wisdom is to know our position in the natural hierarchy of life. Wisdom is the humbleness to accept our role. Wisdom is the confident self-empowerment to make meaningful contributions to the lives of others. Wisdom is the selfless action of sharing our gifts with others. Wisdom is not the cunning heart devising ways to climb the ladder of life at the expense of the other. Wisdom is to know that the will of God resides in us.
“Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognize what is the will of the Lord.” (Second reading)
The will of God calls for us to live good, meaningful lives. We are created to complement one another. We have different skill sets that we are to selflessly use for the common benefit of everyone. The will of God is that we live in this harmony.
But everyday this harmony is broken because of the weak will of man. Instead our desires cause us to compete with one another. We jostle for higher positions in this ladder of life. We encroach on the space of the other squeezing them to struggle to fit into space that is rightfully theirs. Wisdom says that this is not the right way.
Wisdom is the compass to help us navigate through Man’s desires while preserving the harmonious relationship God wills for all of us. But inevitably relationships will suffer simply because we are not perfect. Wisdom is the ability to separate necessary friction from unnecessary fallouts.
Every day we are fed wisdom. Our experiences as we go through life is bread for wisdom. Experiences tweak our heart. They work the accuracy of the compass. As we grow older we can grow in wisdom. ‘Can’ because it is our choice if we will allow God to remain in our life.
Every day we are fed the bread of life. We are not created to be left defenselessly alone. God is with us. And he comes to us daily in a special way to remain in us and invite us to remain in him. Wisdom resides in us.
“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.” (Gospel)
He is the bread of wisdom. Eat it and be nourished with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. When we have all these we will accept ourselves and be truly happy for who we are. It really doesn’t matter which position we are in the classroom of our worldly life.
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time