Immense is the Wisdom of God

February 16, 2020

Both the prophet and St. Paul reference wisdom in today’s Scriptures proclaimed in the Liturgy of the Word.  St. Paul states that God’s wisdom is mysteriously hidden and the Book of Sirach states that immense is the wisdom of God.   All of us seek to be wise.  All of us seek to know the best words to say, to read a situation and respond with compassion.  Probably at the time I felt the gift of wisdom the most was when I was the farthest away from it.  Wisdom is not something that is easy.  I once heard a talk from a priest giving a retreat that authentic Gospel wisdom cannot be obtained until one is at least 50 years old.  I remember hearing this when I was way younger than 50 and believing that his assessment couldn’t be true.  I fought against his revelation, at times patting myself on the back for over achieving and having wisdom long before 50.  When I finally turned 50, I realized what I thought was wisdom was just really a projection of myself or some other theologian trying to be profound instead of allowing God to be profound.

Wisdom does take an awareness to realize the things that last are far and few between.  St. Paul will say only faith, hope and love remain and the greatest of these is love.  By no means do I believe the pursuit of wisdom is unattainable.  It comes to us, like many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in God’s time and in God’s way.  Wisdom has to withstand the test of time.  In a world in which a news cycle is less than two days and websites update information every millisecond, history and the test of time to see what is real takes patience and courage.

Today’s readings give us good news.  The wisdom of God is immense.  When I think of the majestic mountains, the solar system and the light years it takes for a star to beam light to the eye, immense is bigger than our imagination can take us.  This is incredibly consoling.  It means that in any given day, while we strive to make a difference in the lives of others, God’s wisdom is not only great, but deeper and wider.  St. Paul quotes a beautiful love sonnet:  eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has prepared for those who love Him.  Wisdom flourishes in our love for God.  When we love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our being, wisdom relays mercy, gentleness and compassion.

In prayer when I can be vulnerable enough to get to the place where I realize I can never possess wisdom or understand it; when I am aware I cannot control it or think it is something I can put on a resume, it is then that I realize wisdom is but a companion on the journey and I am blessed whenever I can walk with the immensity of God’s wisdom and cherish its gift.

Father John Ouper