Wisdom is better than jewelry; no treasures can compare with her.
Oh! Wisdom, how we need you now more than ever! You, Sophia, the breath, the power of God, the feminine face of God. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
Below, the reading from Proverbs is one of several books of wisdom grouped together and occurring before the Book of Isaiah, the prophet from whom all the other O Antiphons are taken at this time of year.
A reading from the Book of Proverbs 8:1-12:
Does not Wisdom call, and Understanding raise her voice?
On the top of the heights along the road,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
by the gates at the approaches of the city, in the entryways she cries aloud:
To you, O people, I call; my appeal is to all.
You who are simple, learn how to make sound judgments.
Listen! For what I say is worth hearing; my mouth proclaims the truth.
Indeed, my mouth hates to lie.
All the words of my mouth are sincere;
all of them are straightforward to the intelligent,
and right to those who attain knowledge.
Accept my lessons instead of silver,
and knowledge in place of gold.
For Wisdom is better than jewelry; no treasures can compare with her.
I, Wisdom, dwell with experience, the source of clear thinking.
These books of wisdom are a needed breath of fresh air. Listen to a few verses:
“What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun!” (Ecc 1-9) Today we hear: “It is what it is,” proving the point that nothing is new under the sun.
“Arise my beautiful one and come …” (Song 2:10).
“Resplendent and unfading is wisdom and she is readily perceived by those who love and found by those who seek her.” (Wis 6:12).
Let’s do that today. Let’s seek her. Wisdom — that beauty ever ancient, ever new. Where shall we find her? We find her in Scripture and traditions. Is she also revealing herself now in new ways, in ways we are missing?
Let’s “look around” as Eliza sings in the musical “Hamilton.” “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” There’s wisdom in musical theater.
In the Thornton Wilder play “Our Town,” Emily exclaims: “Oh earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you!” The wisdom of Emily is reiterated in the theology of Fr. Pierre Teilhard Chardin, who stuns us with his words: “By virtue of Creation, and still more the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see …” All too wonderful, Pierre and Emily — for those who know how to see!
The arts, the sciences, hold wisdom for those who know how to see. That’s the meaning of incarnation, isn’t it? God’s infusion in this world, on this Earth, in this time.
I would like to share two stories about just that: God incarnate just now. Read more