Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
(Wisdom 7:22b-8:1; Luke 17:20-25)
People usually think of their own age as the greatest. But is our own age so wonderful? Its representative products – the iPhone, the plasma TV, the global positioning device – seem to provide the rich with outlets for their wealth more than they help me to live more happily. Can we not ask with T.S. Eliot a few generations ago, “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Today’s first reading reminds us that wisdom has an eternal character that is available in every age. It is also universal so that both rich and poor may partake of it. In contriving twenty-one attributes the author shows how wisdom, and not the products of technology and commerce, makes life worthwhile. The number, incidentally, symbolizes absolute perfection being the product of seven -- representative of simple perfection -- and three -- indicative of the divine.
Wisdom admonishes us to discern the true value of every created good. It recognizes the satisfaction that comfort and convenience bring us but realizes that these do not comprise happiness. Most importantly, it understands that fulfillment is found in our striving to live righteously. Beginning with God and not overlooking the simplest person nor ignoring ourselves we wisely give everyone her/his due.