Grace to you!
Our reflections from today to Saturday this week will be based on the Book of Wisdom, as they are the first readings in our Catholic liturgical calendar. Since this book is not found in some bibles, may I please give a little background information before I proceed with the thoughts for today?
The Book of Wisdom (said to have been written sometime between 200 BC and 50 BC) is one of those called deuterocanonical books. Deuterocanonical books are seven books that were originally written in Greek. Catholics, both those of the Latin and Eastern rites, and the Anglican Communion (for the most part), accept these books as part of the Old Testament. They include 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Wisdom, Baruch, Tobit and Judith. The books are part of the Canon of Scripture (books of the Christian bible classified as inspired) settled at the Council of Rome in the year 382 during the papacy of Pope Damasus 1.
Following Luther's rejection of the books, many denominations that toe the line of the Protestant Reformation (1517) reject those books as part of the Bible, calling them apocryphal writings. However, some of the pioneers of the Faith more evidently Saint Paul and Saint John; and many Fathers of the Church such as Clement, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Cyprian, and Augustine, etc., drew some of their inspiration from those books, and made reference to them as well, as part of Scripture.
Scholars argue back and forth concerning this debate. Their arguments aren’t within the scope of a reflection of this kind. Therefore, let’s get back to our usual style for the reflection.
As I read Wisdom 1:1-7, I feel the power of God’s word as I am reminded of the need to love righteousness and think and seek the Lord with sincerity. What I think, and the inner desires of my heart, could impact my day-to-day activities.
I’m equally reminded of the Wisdom of God, which discerns every heart and knows our hidden thoughts. When I pray Psalms 19:12, I’m drawn to ask for the wisdom of God which could unveil to me my hidden thoughts. The Psalmist, knowing how deep human thought could be and how some of our hidden weaknesses could be so unfamiliar to us that we neglect them, prays, “From hidden faults acquit me O Lord” (Ps 19:12).
In our Catholic tradition, during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called Confession, the person confessing his or her sins says, “For these (sins) and the ones I don’t remember… I ask for pardon/mercy.” This is an acknowledgement that there are many aspects of our hidden faults we hardly remember. Many times we are unaware of the hidden thoughts. It calls for heightened spiritual sensitivity and self-awareness. Allowing God’s word to fill our hearts could open us up to those inner desires and self-awareness.
It’s beautiful to desire righteousness. We are as good as our desires and the inclinations of our heart. God wants us to desire what is good, holy. “Aspire for higher gifts” (1 Cor 12:31). Desire and think about what is good, true, right, pure, and holy, etc. (Phil 4:8).
Praying that God will increase our faith so our heart will be large enough for the blessings of the heavens. May we also desire what is right. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 32 A: Wis 1:1-7; Lk 17:1-6]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.