The first reading for today is taken from the opening of the Book of Wisdom. These simple verses set the tone for the entire book, urging readers to prioritize the search for wisdom, followed by righteousness and integrity in their actions and judgments: “Love righteousness, you who judge the earth; think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart.”
In its way, the passage is telling us not to open up the world to whatever the secular world has to offer. The world, at best, can offer a foundation that is mutable, changing, and subject to the whims of people who have not considered the desires and teachings of the Lord. Not exactly a sure foundation.
As the passage from Wisdom offers, the sure foundation begins with clear understanding of the most basic of all identities – our own. “For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. This means we are eternal in existence, created with a nature that is the very image of God. In other words, we are called to integrate that into our understanding. This means we begin with the belief that God created humanity with the potential for goodness and righteousness, and it is only through our choices that we may deviate from this inherent nature. “For perverse counsels separate a man from God.”
In a million things small and large we make choices for the type of “wisdom” we take into our lives. If we fill up with “perverse counsel” then “wisdom enters not, nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin. For the holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels.”
We are called to be mindful and attend to the advice of the Psalm: “Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.” We are called to attend to the sure counsel of Sacred Scripture, prayer, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church, the very guides given to us for our journey on the everlasting way.
It is our choice. We choose the wisdom by which we live this life and the life to come.
Choose well and then live well: “think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart.”
Image Credit: Parable of the Unjust Steward(A.N. Mironov), CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons