I did not intend to write today’s reflection. As I was talking with potential contributors, many were so overwhelmed (see Thursday’s reflection), were not sure where they would be due to the election, or, as one who knows the liturgical season well said – I don’t want to think about the end times when there’s a pandemic, Church division, social injustices, and broken household appliances. So here I am, looking at today’s readings and wondering what to say because I empathize with what each of those women said to me (thankfully, all my appliances are functioning).
During the weeks leading up to Advent, the liturgical readings we hear at our Masses remind us of the end times – second comings, apocalypse, final judgment. This year, I don’t think I have the bandwidth to embrace these concepts. The chaos of the present world grips too tightly. The injustices of the present world burn too brightly to think of God’s final justice.
I find comfort in the reading from Wisdom we hear today.
Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire; Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate. For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care; because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude.
Regardless of how you feel about the election, life goes on – the battles in our personal lives continue, the struggles for justice in our world continue, the desperate need to end the pandemic continue. To do all this we need Wisdom. I find great solace that Wisdom is waiting for us. Right there, the moment we step out our door.
Note that we have to take that step out; we will find Wisdom at our gate. She meets us with graciousness and solicitude, so very needed by each of us I suspect. As we individually face the struggles and blessings of our lives, may we seek Wisdom. As we look, collectively, to what needs to be done for the common good in our world today, may we seek Wisdom. We know she will meet us at our gate and that we have the hope, as Solomon says later in the chapter, “Wisdom, the artisan of all, taught me” (Wisdom 6:22).
We may not be able to wrestle with the immensity of the end times, but I think we can seek Wisdom for just this day. If we repeat that prayer daily and take that first step out, we will be greeted by Wisdom as by an old friend. Together, with Wisdom, may we make the rounds with her to transform ourselves, our relationships, and our world.