Homily - Wisdom - Sun, Nov 12

Chapter 7


7 Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
8 I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
9 Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,
because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,
and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
10 I loved her more than health and beauty,
and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.
11 All good things came to me along with her,
and in her hands uncounted wealth.
21 I learned both what is secret and what is manifest,
22 for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.
For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
mobile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen,
irresistible,
23 beneficent, humane,
steadfast, sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent and pure and most subtle.
24 For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
25 For she is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
26 For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
27 Though she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
28 for God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom.
29 For she is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars.
Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
30 for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.

Chapter 8

She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.
2 I loved her and sought her from my youth,
and I desired to take her for my bride,
and I became enamored of her beauty.
3 She glorifies her noble birth by living with God,
and the Lord of all loves her.
4 For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God,
and an associate in his works.
5 If riches are a desirable possession in life,
what is richer than wisdom who effects all things?
6 And if understanding is effective,
who more than she is fashioner of what exists?
7 And if any one loves righteousness,
her labors are virtues;
for she teaches self-control and prudence,
justice and courage;
nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.
8 And if any one longs for wide experience,
she knows the things of old, and infers the things to come;
9 Therefore I determined to take her to live with me,
knowing that she would give me good counsel
and encouragement in cares and grief.
16 When I enter my house, I shall find rest with her,
for companionship with her has no bitterness,
and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy.
17 When I considered these things inwardly,
and thought upon them in my mind,
that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,
18 and in friendship with her, pure delight,
and in the labors of her hands, unfailing wealth,
and in the experience of her company, understanding,
and renown in sharing her words,
I went about seeking how to get her for myself.
21 But I perceived that I would not possess wisdom unless God gave her to me—
and it was a mark of insight to know whose gift she was—
so I appealed to the Lord and implored him,
and with my whole heart I said:

9 PRAYER FOR WISDOM

9 “O God of my fathers and Lord of mercy,
who have made all things by your word,
2 and by your wisdom have formed man,
to have dominion over the creatures you have made,
3 and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,
and pronounce judgment in uprightness of soul,
4 give me the wisdom that sits by your throne,
and do not reject me from among your servants.
5 For I am your slave and the son of your maidservant,
a man who is weak and short-lived,
with little understanding of judgment and laws;
6 for even if one is perfect among the sons of men,
yet without the wisdom that comes from you he will be regarded as nothing.
9 With you is wisdom, who knows your works
and was present when you made the world,
and who understands what is pleasing in your sight
and what is right according to your commandments.
10 Send her forth from the holy heavens,
and from the throne of your glory send her,
that she may be with me and toil,
and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.
11 For she knows and understands all things,
and she will guide me wisely in my actions
and guard me with her glory.
13 For what man can learn the counsel of God?
Or who can discern what the Lord wills?
14 For the reasoning of mortals is worthless,
and our designs are likely to fail,
15 for a perishable body weighs down the soul,
and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.
16 We can hardly guess at what is on earth,
and what is at hand we find with labor;
but who has traced out what is in the heavens?
17 Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom
and sent your holy Spirit from on high?
18 And thus the paths of those on earth were set right,
and men were taught what pleases you,
and were saved by wisdom.”