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O Wisdom

Homily for December 17

O Wisdom

O Wisdom, O holy word of God,
you govern all creation
with your strong yet tender care:
Come and show your people the way to salvation.

Today we remember the many generations of men and women all of whom are part of God’s creative action. “In the beginning God created. . .” At first it was enough to give God’s title, just “God,” the God who is God, and to declare that God created the world and all who lived in it. But language moves toward specificity: what we believe to be significant we distinguish linguistically. So the simple noun “God” was soon found to be meager, insufficient.

So to distinguish how we refer to God, in Psalm 136 the ancient Hebrews sang a clarification: “God who by wisdom made the heavens, whose mercy endures forever.” What did God use to create the world and all the people who live in it? Wisdom – Divine Wisdom alone. Why, we know about Wisdom! Wisdom consists of the workings of the mind meshed with compassion. We can understand a little bit, at least, of God: Wisdom.

So much did divine wisdom occupy the Hebrew imaginations that a figure was born, a mighty woman springing fully armed from the Hebrew poet’s head: Lady Wisdom herself, who God created first in the primeval time of creating! Lady Wisdom was God’s companion in fashioning the universe and the generations of men and women who filled it. Later she was given the Greek name, Sophia, the Wise Woman, a feminine personification of that essential attribute of omniscient God.

As we remember the generations who fulfilled God’s plan of salvation, we struggle on our way to salvation.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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