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Thursday, November 10, 2005

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Pope St. Leo the Great

Wisdom 7:22—8:1
Psalm 119:89-91, 130, 135, 175
Luke 17:20-25

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the wisdom of god

Wisdom is..."holy...unstained...purity...spotless." —Wisdom 7:22, 24, 26

Adam and Eve saw that the tree of knowledge of good and bad was "desirable for gaining wisdom" (Gn 3:6). They wanted knowledge but not wisdom, for true wisdom is obedient (see Prv 1:28-33). Sin and rebelliousness never lead to true wisdom.

Some members of the church of Thyatira wanted to know the " 'deep secrets' of Satan" (Rv 2:24). Whether due to sinfulness or the desire to know Satan's plan so they could try to expel him more specifically, this "knowledge" (1 Cor 8:1) is not wisdom. "Wisdom like this does not come from above. It is earthbound, a kind of animal, even devilish, cunning" (Jas 3:15). Personal knowledge or experience of evil is not true wisdom. "Wisdom from above, by contrast, is first of all, innocent" (Jas 3:17).

Paul corrected those Colossians who made "a certain show of wisdom in their affected piety, humility, and bodily austerity" (Col 2:23). Some of these folks sought to know "cosmic powers" rather than Jesus (Col 2:8), much like New Agers today. "The chief effect" of this type of wisdom is pride (Col 2:23). Seeking religious wisdom, scientific information, or self-knowledge apart from the Lord is not true wisdom, for wisdom is the image of God (Wis 7:26).

We won't become wise by collecting more information or experiences. We gain wisdom by growing in our relationship with Jesus, for He is "our Wisdom" (1 Cor 1:30). "Get wisdom" (Prv 4:7). Accept Jesus as your Wisdom, Lord, Savior, and God.

Prayer:  Father, "give me Wisdom, the Attendant at Your throne" (Wis 9:4). May I always grow in wisdom before You (Lk 2:52).

Promise:  "The reign of God is already in your midst." —Lk 17:21

Praise:  Pope St. Leo taught on the greatness of the Divine Word both human and divine and thus propagated true wisdom.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005

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