The 28th Sunday of the Year

Wis 7:7-11; Heb 4:12-13; Mk 10:17-30 (Year B)

“I prayed, and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. In her company all good things came to me, at her hands riches not to be numbered.”

The young King Solomon’s prayer for wisdom, coming in the early chapters of the Book of Wisdom, can be understood as a moving entreaty to reflect on the priorities that rule our lives. Here wisdom is understood as the divine purpose revealed in the beauty and harmony of Creation. More than this, this benign purpose is deeply personal, revealed to God’s people in the unfolding history of their salvation. Thus Solomon went on to pray: “As for God’s intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted Wisdom and sent your holy spirit from above? Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and men been taught what pleases you, and saved by Wisdom.”

Thus true wisdom is the God-given discernment of a life lived in harmony with the beauty of creation and the Creator’s loving purpose for those he has called to himself. St Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, unhesitatingly identified this wisdom with the Gospel, a crucified Lord in whom is revealed the power and wisdom of God. Such wisdom is neither abstract nor speculative. It is the practical wisdom with which faith embraces Christ as the way, the truth and the life.

The Gospel narrative illustrates the conflicting wisdoms at work in sinful humanity. The young man, presenting himself to Jesus, represented all that is best in our longing for meaning and life. “Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

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