Homily Twentieth Sunday Year B Wisdom

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Homily Twentieth Sunday Year B

Reading 1: What is wisdom? There is human wisdom and there is the spiritual wisdom. We have known people who are wise about the things of this life. But there is the gift of wisdom, which seeks to perceive the mind of God. To see as God sees a situation.

Our reading says wisdom has built her house upon seven columns. These are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, spoken of in Isaiah: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. These are the gifts we are invited to exercise so we can avoid foolishness.

These gifts are given to us in baptism, when we receive the Holy Spirit, sharing in God’s own divine life. We are endowed with these seven spiritual gifts in order to grow in holiness. This is our first call or fundamental vocation: to be holy as God is holy, to enable the life of God to grow within us.

Our reading invites us to ask God for a greater release of this gift of Wisdom. With that release we will be able to better see things in our daily life from God’s perspective. We will be able to better know the situations and to understand as God does. We will then have the courage to act in the situation as He desires, so that we can worship the Lord and come into his presence with awe and wonder. Lord, stir up afresh the gift of wisdom, given to us in baptism!

Reading 2. Following the first reading on wisdom, we are urged to watch carefully how we live. If we learn to live wisely, trying to understand the will of the Lord in each situation through this gift of God, then we will be in right order with God and others.  If we become aware and attentive to the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, then we will grow in holiness, which is what being filled with the Holy Spirit means.

The more we grow in holiness, the more God becomes the center of our lives, which will be reflected in praising God and giving thanks in the name of Jesus. In another words, being aware of the gifts given to us by God for our sanctification, Paul urges us to act in such a way that we may grow in love of God and in holiness of life.  

What prevents us from growing in holiness is sin because it either dampens our love for God or alienates us from him. Paul mentions drunkenness as one sin. But whatever is inappropriate to our life as sons and daughters of God is to be avoided, so that we can grow in holiness.

Gospel: Besides the Gift of Wisdom which enables us to know what is in the mind of God so that we can choose what is right and good for our life in holiness, there is also the Gift of the Word of Wisdom. What is this? Jesus is exercising this gift in his humanity in today’s Gospel. He speaks a word of God to instruct his hearers and us about a truth they were not aware of.

He said that they and we eat bread to sustain them physically. Yet they still die, like their ancestors, who ate the Manna that sustained them in the desert, died.  Jesus Then gave a Word of Wisdom. He will give food that will sustain not the physical life but life in and with God. What is this food? His Body to eat and his Blood to drink in the Eucharistic banquet.

How are we to respond to this Word of Wisdom? To do what many of them could not do. To accept the word of Jesus to be true, to believe the truth he reveals and to act on it by eating his Body and drinking his Blood.

Many people grumbled. Many of the disciples could not accept, believe and act on this word of truth. They walked away. They could not put their faith in Jesus. It was too much for them. Peter, though not fully understanding what Jesus said, gave the response that should flow from each of our hearts. “To whom shall we go? We have come to believe that you are the One sent by God. You have the words leading to everlasting life.”

Things may not be much different today. According to some studies, at least 43%
of baptized Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They see it and receive it as a symbol. Are we part of the 57% who believe like Peter or the 43% who do not believe?

Jesus, with the gift of Wisdom perceived the plan of God for us and revealed this plan through the gift of the Word of Wisdom.

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