Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Sirach 4:11-19; Mark 9:38-40)
L’Chaim is the Hebrew toast to life. Most everyone will lift a glass to it. We all want to live and to live well. To do the latter requires wisdom which looks beyond the superficial. Wisdom peers into the heart of reality informing us what is truly beneficial and what is harmful. As Sirach says in today’s first reading, “He who loves (wisdom) loves life.”
Sirach goes on to describe how wisdom may be a hard taskmaster. It often tells us things that are not of our liking. Wisdom recommends that we do not try to manipulate human life by producing children without the marriage act. For a childless couple this seems unfair. The husband and wife only want the good of raising a child like the majority of families. Wisdom provides reasons, however. In the case of procreation wisdom speaks of the rights of the child. She should know that she was conceived through an act of love between her father and mother.
Many today embrace the “technological imperative.” This false axiom stipulates that what can be done must be done. Pursuing it will lead to the ambiguous identity of human clones, to the dangerous instability of global nuclear weapons, and to a host of other threats to well-being. No, before saying it must be done, we must ask if it is good to do it. Only following wisdom in this way can we avoid disaster for ourselves and for the world.