Wis 9: 13-18
‘What human being indeed can know the intentions of God? And who can comprehend the will of the Lord? For the reasoning of mortals is inadequate, our attitudes of mind unstable; for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weighs down the mind with its many cares.
It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth, laborious to know what lies within our reach; who, then, can discover what is in the heavens? And who could ever have known your will, had you not given Wisdom and sent your holy Spirit from above? Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and people have been taught what pleases you, and have been saved, by Wisdom.’
The ways of God are as good as not understandable for people who think only in the natural pathways. „The natural man understands nothing of the kingdom of God“ (1Cor 2:14), the apostle tells us. It is good if we realize that too, because how easy is it to overestimate our limited mind. In fact, this can be a temptation.
Very different is it to understand those ways in the Holy Spirit with the gift of wisdom. A knowledge that comes directly from God, that is, directly from the light of the Holy Spirit, glorifies God. The gift of wisdom with its spritual sweetness is related to divine love, which is present in the immediate knowledge of God. This is not the same with a purely natural knowledge through the mind. One can also use one’s mind without recognizing and thanking God as the one who gives that good gift.
If we include the text of the Gospel in our meditation today, then Jesus teaches a very high wisdom, which is a realization of the first commandment: to love God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your power.
It may sound frightening at first! But it is important to face the word of God and not bend it until it fits in our ideas. Luke 14: 25-26 says:
“Anyone who comes to me without hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, cannot be my disciple. No one who does not carry his cross and come after me can be my disciple.”
Whoever wants to be a true disciple of the Lord must leave everything behind and give his life completely to the will of God and renounce all possession. This does not always have to be the material possession, but the fundamental renunciation of leading one’s life according to one’s own ideas. It is to accept the cross, as it is established in the wisdom of God in our lives. This can also mean putting the closest ties with people behind to follow the Lord.
The wisdom of God instructs us now not to understand this as an hard demand that would make our lives joyless, but to understand it as a special invitation of love to spend his life very close to God. The Lord and the deepened love for him is the reward of following such a call, as well as serving other people in greater freedom. The invitation of the Lord thus becomes a sweet wisdom if we learn to understand it from the perspective of his true love.
Leaving everything that was previously in the first place for the sake of greater love is a big step with our free decision.
If we are still hesitating, but are longing to follow the Lord, then one should be seriously trying to gain this willingness in the grace of God and to pray for it.
The Lord also addresses our minds in today’s examples of the gospel, in which we should test ourselves: am I ready to truly follow the Lord as He intended, or will I set conditions? For example, if I carry the question of a radical calling to a religious community in poverty, obedience and chastity, it is clear that I can not come up with ideas that still bear witness to a different way of life (luxury single room with warm shower, large TV screen, tea kitchen and daily rich table)
The decision to follow the Lord completely, if it had been like a more spontanous decision attracted by God’s love , has then to be deepened to make the decision stabile.
But let us not be discouraged if we realize that we do not yet completely belong to God and still cling to our life and the things of this world, but nevertheless want to follow the Lord. Let us ask him every day that the greater love may grow in us, and especially to ask for the spirit of strength, to do those steps that will lead us into the freedom to answer God’s love fully. Let’s us give in the meanwhile to God what we already can.
Nothing is more precious and fulfilling than serving the Lord on earth with a complete devotion. If we ask him seriously to do so, he will hear our prayers.
As we approach the Mother of the Lord with such a concern, not only do we have a wonderful example in her, but someone who will help us to take the steps of faith and trust as they were done from herself. Let us internalize her wonderful word, which is heard in the magnificat and testifies her real knowledge of the wonderful ways of God: “Great has done me the mighty, his name is holy”(Lk 1,49). That is a true knowledge in the wisdom of the Lord!