Monday, September 20, 2010

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr; Paul Chong Hasang, martyr; and their companions

(Proverbs 3:27-34; Luke 8:16-18)

A lifetime ago poet T.S. Eliot wrote what many people wonder today. “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” Eliot asked, “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” Our society seems to know more and more but act with less prudence. Information abounds, but few seem able to use it profitably. Schools, where knowledge should be passed on, may provide a good example. All too often they stand out for apathy and resistance rather than the pursuit of understanding.

In the Scripture readings at Mass this week we will hear several wisdom passages. Today’s passage from the Book of Proverbs reminds us to be generous and just. Also, Jesus uses proverbs to teach the crowds in the gospel today. The wise, he says, will listen carefully to worthy instruction or they will lose whatever edge they have had on life’s challenges. Later in the week we hear the wisdom of Ecclesiastes warning that human achievement is vain without proper acknowledgement of God.

Wisdom is not knowledge and much less mere information. It is truth about life which takes almost a lifetime to comprehend. We are wise not to dismiss the readings from Scripture this week as commonplace or already mastered. Rather we should ponder them anew and measure our lives according to their contents.