The Wisdom of Ben Sira, also know as the book of Sirach, is rich with insight and challenge. Though not accepted by all Christians as part of the canon of scripture, our wisdom tradition would be much the less without it. Just as Jesus breathes on the Apostles to empower them to forgive sins, wisdom breathes life into her children and admonishes them to love life.
Sirach is clear in admonishing us that wisdom is not attained by escaping from the world or life as it unfolds for us. Rather, we must enter life fully with God’s Spirit as our guide and companion. Only those who embrace life as it comes to them will know the gift of God’s wisdom and will be able to witness to others about what God can do in us and for us when we open ourselves to God’s love. More simply put, we must submit ourselves to God in all things if we hope to live the wisdom that is our patrimony.
The challenge of Wisdom to submit ourselves to God is a never ending struggle. It is not something we accomplish in a day or a week. It is an ongoing challenge that we face and are called to embrace every day. Sometimes the challenge is to accept the darkness of not knowing how to go forward or even to find God in the midst of chaos. At other times, wisdom demands that we rest in gratitude for all God’s gifts and celebrate them fully. Christians must commit themselves to joy both in darkness and light.
Today, be still and let Lady wisdom visit you.
What do you think are the marks of wisdom?