Grace to you!
There is an African proverb which says: “There is wisdom in gray hair.”
Unlike in some other cultures where people would prefer to be described as younger, generally, the African prides himself or herself as being an elder. People feel a sense of pride in being described as older, and elders. This is partly because of the worldview that wisdom comes with age, gray hair.
Another African proverb says: “A traveler is wiser than a gray hair!” In other words, wisdom comes with experience and exposure.
The person who has wider experience tends to bring broader perspective to a discussion related to the experience. Generally speaking, the limited nature of our knowledge could be broadened by more experience and exposure. Moreover, experience grows over time, deepened by many exposures, trials and errors.
Scientific breakthroughs often are fruits of multiply exposures, trials and error. The fruit of those exposures or experiences grow to a wealth of knowledge described, thereafter, as expertise. As a Cameroonian proverb says, “By trying repeatedly, the monkey learns to jump from the tree.”
No matter how one may have read stories about Manhattan or the Silicon Valley, and no matter how many movies filmed at those sites one may have seen, or how fascinating a storyteller describes those cities, one who has been in those cities has a different feel about them. Experience and exposure are crucial aspects of our knowledge, aren’t they?
Reading the Gospel of Matthew 13:52-53, I was thrilled by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as he wrapped upthe discussion about God’s Kingdom. He said; “Therefore, every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Referring to the authority of the scribe in Jewish culture as those who are esteemed experts and teachers of God’s and Mosaic Laws, Jesus calls attention to what exceptionalism in these areas of faith and knowledge should be. By using the Scribe analogy, he is inviting all those who read him, who believe in him and indeed all Christian believers and would-be-believers to see themselves in this light.
Replace the image of the Scribe with yourself as a believer. “Every believer trained for the Kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his or her treasure, what is new and what is old.”
What is “Old” is grasping the revelation in the Old Testament, and what is “New” is seeing the newness, realization of God’s revelation in the Christ in the New Testament. A wise believer does not disconnect with the Old but weaves the Old with the New as one message of salvation for himself or herself and for others. The Old Testaments points to the New, the Christ. Christ is its fulfilment.
Spiritually speaking and relating to the African proverbs I used earlier, it is growing in our faith in the light of what is revealed in the text of scripture both Old and New, and what we live in the living sacred tradition of the Church. We live in such a way that our experiences, our exposures and our knowledge of God’s Word, flow as stream of wisdom speaking one language, the language of God’s love in Christ.
Remember, as Saint Jerome said, “Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ.”
Two recommendations for today:
1) Read the bible and know God’s Word as revealed in both the Old and New Testaments.
2) When you can and if you can afford it, a trip to the Holy Land, the Eternal City or other holy sites could enrich your religious experience.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday, Week 17, Ordinary Time: Jeremiah 18:1-6; Matthew 13:47-53]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural 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.