Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Kingdom Of God Is Among You.

Today’s First Reading is taken from the Old Testament Book of Wisdom (7:22b-8:1):

The spirit of Wisdom is intelligent and holy. It is of one nature but reveals itself in many ways. It is not made of any material substance, and it moves about freely. It is clear, clean, and confident; it cannot be harmed. It loves what is good. It is sharp and unconquerable, kind, and a friend of humanity. It is dependable and sure, and has no worries. It has power over everything, and sees everything. It penetrates every spirit that is intelligent and pure, no matter how delicate its substance may be.

Wisdom moves more easily than motion itself; she is so pure that she penetrates everything.25 She is a breath of God's power, a pure and radiant stream of glory from the Almighty. Nothing that is defiled can ever steal its way into Wisdom. She is a reflection of eternal light, a perfect mirror of God's activity and goodness. Even though Wisdom acts alone, she can do anything. She makes everything new, although she herself never changes. From generation to generation she enters the souls of holy people, and makes them God's friends and prophets. There is nothing that God loves more than people who are at home with Wisdom. Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and all the constellations. She is better than light itself, because night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom.

Her great power reaches to the ends of the earth, and she governs all things well.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 119

R. Your word is forever, O Lord.

Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.

Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.

According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.

The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.

Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.

Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.

R. Your word is forever, O Lord.


Today's Gospel is taken from Luke (17:20-25):

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "You cannot tell when the kingdom of God will come by observation. No one is going to stay, ‘It is here’ or ‘It is there’, because the kingdom of God is within you."

Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

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Daily Reflection
Creighton University's Online Ministries

The November days are getting shorter and darkness comes earlier. The fields have yielded their harvest and our campus is winterized. I realize I will not see my favorite begonia beds until May. During these days I crave comfort food and behold today’s readings hit the spot like a hearty broth on an autumn night.

The scripture speaks of wisdom. Christians are told to be wise. The reading from the book of Wisdom personifies wisdom as feminine, the crafter of all; wisdom is “an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty.” Wisdom is “the image of God’s goodness.” And the scribe wrote: “God loves nothing so much as the man/woman who lives with wisdom.”

Christians are told to be wise. The gospel has Jesus telling his followers not to go off and run in pursuit of an elusive kingdom of God or a fraudulent Son of Man. Rather, with reflection and wisdom, you will find both and realize that “the kingdom of God is among us.” We long for action, but the wise person knows, as Jesus knows, that the typical human state is not activity but watchfulness—“watch and pray” Jesus tells his followers.

Christians are told to be wise. I do not consider myself to be wise; experienced, well traveled, seasoned, opinionated, yes, but not wise. It is not easy to say what wisdom is or how we become wise. Yet I am wise enough to know not to look for wisdom in myself or to search for it too intently in others. But I do know that people of prayer, whoever and wherever they are, live with some (or frequent) stillness and silence in which both prayer and wisdom grow and develop through the grace of God. As our scripture notes “And passing into holy souls from age to age, she (wisdom) produces friends of God and prophets.”

Christians are told to be wise. The scriptures say: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fearing the Lord is the experience through which a person recognizes the purity and power of God, the limitations of human knowledge and action, and the traces of sinfulness in the best of human achievements.

As mentioned above, a chilly November day begs a hearty broth, just as our soul needs silence and stillness in which both prayer and wisdom can grow and develop through the grace of God in this autumn season.

John P. Schlegel, S.J.
President, Creighton University

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