Wisdom, A Solicitous Lady
We are in the final stretch of the liturgical year. The last Sunday of the current liturgical cycle will be November 22nd. As the liturgical year wanes, the scripture readings encourage us to reflect on what is permanent and sure in our lives and what is passing.
This existential tone of the readings has been anticipated and almost thrown at us for the last eight months given events that have led us to reflect about significant changes in life: the ongoing pandemic, the fires, police brutality and people advocating reform of the justice system, violent protests, discussion on systemic racism, and the election.
Depending on your age, or ethnicity or type of work or location you might have been more affected by some or all of the above. Not everyone has been affected in the same way. Our school and our Mass are good examples of how differently people have been affected. Whereas our students can attend school in person, some of our CCD students who attend public schools are lagging behind.
The Mass is also another indicator of how differently the changes are affecting people. While some people enjoy the outdoor Mass more than they enjoyed Mass inside the church, some people with higher health risks have not resumed attending Mass even outdoors, and I’m not sure if they can watch the livestream.
The first reading today from the Book of Wisdom personifies wisdom as a solicitous lady who comes to those who love her and who seek her. Recently I was reminded how to seek wisdom. I was reminded of three steps: 1) slow down enough to process your feelings 2) Pay attention to what is life giving and what is not. Ask yourself whether the people most important in your life are receiving your time and attention. Are you becoming the person you want to be? 3) Adjust your direction, if you need to. Make the necessary changes in your life, and seek help if you need to.
These steps are difficult to take and sometimes we need an external motivator to assist us. For me, it has been my ankle injury. I have literally slowed down as I walk and go about my daily activities. Since I can only stand for so long, or walk a limited distance each day, and then manage pain at times, or go to physical therapy, I have to ask myself what I want most each day, given what is realistic for me at this point. I am remembering things I wanted to do before that I was too busy to do, and now I am making choices to make the time for important people in my life. If Wisdom is solicitous in coming to those who seek her, how might you invite Wisdom to come and spend time with you.
The readings this Sunday, and the next couple of Sundays remind us that amidst difficult circumstances, we have the choice of how we respond. Wisdom hastens to make herself known to those who seek her. Let us make the time to seek her.
Fr Carlos, OSA