The Wisdom of God is the Spirit!

Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time

Wis 7: 22b-8:1,Luke 17: 20-25

Deacon Larry Brockman

Some people say that the Holy Spirit is not in the Old Testament.  But today we hear more about the nature of the Holy Spirit than in any place else in the Bible.  We hear about an “intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, and clear” spirit.  Isn’t that just magnificent!

And the author goes on and on with other attributes as well.    We would all do well to read and reread this first reading.  It would greatly assist all of us in understanding when we are influenced by the Holy Spirit as opposed to other spirits which are constantly attacking us, suggesting how we can feed our desires and self rather than get close to God.  Daily we are accosted by these evil spirits who urge us in various ways.  They tell us; “If it feels good, do it”; “What about something just for me”; and “Don’t be bothered by that” when our conscience haunts us.   

But the Wisdom that the Holy Spirit infuses in us helps us to be in harmony with God.  And harmony with God brings joy, an everlasting joy.   

Now this reading is paired with Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees on the Kingdom of God.  Jesus has been talking about the Kingdom of God as he journeyed through Galilee and Judea.  But the audience didn’t get it   Even after all the parables on the Kingdom of God, parables we have been hearing for the last several weeks, they just didn’t get it. The Pharisees didn’t get it either.  They all just didn’t get it.  I’m not sure we all get it.   

So, Jesus tries again.  He says “The Kingdom of God is not something you can see”; and “The Kingdom of God is amongst us”.  How can both of these be true? 

Indeed, we live in a world that is shared by the people of God and the people of this world.  The two factions don’t live in harmony but are in constant friction.   

For some, life is all about themselves; it’s all about getting whatever satisfaction they can out of this world while life lasts.  These people are inspired by the spirit of evil that rejects God’s spirit and urges folks to live for themselves.  They are rewarded by comfort, pleasure, money, power, things, whatever the world has to offer. Their goal is always to be happy and avoid suffering in this world.   

Others are honestly trying to listen to God.  They are looking for God’s will for them and they are prompted by true “Wisdom”, which come from the Spirit of God, the kind of Wisdom we hear about in the first reading.  These people are rewarded by a feeling of satisfaction infused by God when they are in harmony with God.  That satisfaction is something that lasts forever.    They suffer, work, sacrifice, and love unconditionally. They experience feelings of joy and satisfaction instead of comfort and the world’s happiness, like the feeling you get from nurturing your children, helping someone else in need, or taking care of an aged parent  despite the pain and discomfort one incurs in the process.   These are the “Holy Moments” that Matthew Kelly talked about in the book we all got last Easter.   

And so, the Kingdom of God is amongst us, and co-exists with the World as we know it.  It is not something that can be seen.  But it is something we can all experience.  

When that flash of lightning occurs when we pass from this world to the next the sheep will be separated from the goats,   And we will follow Jesus with the rest of his flock into the Kingdom of God, all those who are filled with the Spirit of God. 

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