From Our Pastor's Desk
From Our Pastor's Desk
Sunday, September 4th, 2022 – Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C Readings: Wisdom 9:13-18b, Psalm 90 “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge”, Philemon 9-10, 12-17, Luke 14:25-33
My dear brothers and sisters, chapter nine of the book of Wisdom has a wonderful prayer that asks God to grant us his wisdom. Let us not confuse the ‘wisdom’ of the Bible with all that we learnt at school. The author of the book was a very intelligent and highly educated person and yet he still felt the need to ask God for wisdom. This is because the kind of wisdom he wanted can only come from God and it cannot be earned.
In today’s first reading, the author reflects that it is hardly surprising that we have trouble figuring out the intentions of God when we have so much trouble figuring each other out. He warns: “And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty.” There are times when those within our reach puzzle us, just as we puzzle them; there are times when we have to work at understanding our own intentions and behavior because we are a puzzle to ourselves. And even though God has revealed himself through the Holy Spirit, nobody can claim to fully understand the mystery that is God.
We cannot discover truth just by using our intelligence. In the gospel, Jesus gives a twin parable, anyone intending to build a tower would: first sit down and work out the cost”. If he started without finishing, the sum of his achievement would be a monument to his own stupidity. Likewise, the king who discovers that his forces are outnumbered would “first sit down and consider” whether the opposing troop is too heavy. If he wants to be a smarter survivor “he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms”. In both instances the advice is clear: take time; sit down; look at the demands; figure out whether you can honestly meet them.
Much of our lives involve figuring out what is within our reach and what we ourselves can realistically achieve. May the Lord bless us with his spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom to discern what is best for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Paschal Chester, SVD