Wednesday, February 7, 2018

“Not until we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God's holiness and sovereignty, acknowledging our own littleness, distrusting our own thoughts, and willing to have our minds turned upside down, can divine wisdom become ours.”

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. - Alfred Tennyson: (1809 – 1892: was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets)

Scripture Text: (PS 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40)
R. (30a) The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom
and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.
R. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

One of the notable features of this passage from Psalm 37 is that it actually speaks more directly about the Lord than about “the just”. Why is this? The psalm makes it clear that the Lord is the source of all that is good in man. The refrain demonstrates this: the just man “murmurs wisdom” and “utters what is right” because the “law of his God is in his heart”.

This message from Psalm 37 stands in a certain contrast to Jesus’ words in the Gospel today at Mass (Mark 7:14-23). Jesus speaks at length, and quite unflatteringly, about what comes from “within the man, from his heart”. He mentions 13 evils, though one gets the impression that He could just as easily have continued. Here Jesus is describing the fallen human heart that does not have the law of God within. Jesus wants us to realize our utter need for the law of grace if we are to transcend our fallen selves, and serve as instruments of God’s Wisdom.

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