SEEK WISDOM our teachers tell us. But, like the rejection “the Son of Man” suffered at the hand of his generation, so too our present generation appears disinclined to seek out the ways of Wisdom. Quick-fix is today’s preferred (albeit bankrupt) option. An action plan. (Another action plan!). Wisdom isn’t quick-fix. And those seeking physical evidence of the Kingdom of God – like entrepreneurs, on the lookout for something they can get a hold of and sell at a profit – are told by Jesus ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look here! Look there!”. The Son of Man’s advice is “make no move; do not set off in pursuit …” (Luke 17:20 ff JB)
We need to make time to weigh up who or what Wisdom is. Sit still for a while. Stop running around like headless chickens. Stop trying to BE the fount of wisdom – Wisdom herself is already in pole position and won’t be toppled. Stop trying to invent new ways to communicate, to “be church”, to “be attractive”, still less to be “profitable” (what Bishop Richard Holloway famously called the spiritual arm of the National Trust) and listen to Wisdom. There’s enough food for thought, enough of an invitation in today’s eucharistic readings to keep us quietly occupied in contemplation for the rest of our lives …
Within Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
active, incisive, unsullied,
lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, sharp,
irresistible, beneficent, loving to man,
steadfast, dependable, unperturbed,
penetrating all intelligent, pure
and most subtle spirits;
for Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion;
she is so pure, she pervades and permeates all things.
She is a breath of the power of God,
pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
hence nothing impure can find a way into her.
She is a reflection of the eternal light,
untarnished mirror of God’s active power,
image of his goodness.
Although alone, she can do all;
herself unchanging, she makes all things new.
In each generation she passes into holy souls,
she makes them friends of God and prophets;
for God loves only the man who lives with Wisdom.
She is indeed more splendid than the sun,
she outshines all the constellations;
compared with light, she takes first place,
for light must yield to night,
but over Wisdom evil can never triumph.
She deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other,
ordering all things for good.
Wisdom 7:22-8:1 JB
Or perhaps we’re too busy? Too wrapped up with our own pre-packaged “observations”, looking here or looking there? And maybe that’s why WE suffer grievously?
‘Make no move; do not set off in pursuit’ … seek Wisdom. ‘ You must know, the kingdom of God is among you.’