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The Value of Wisdom (17th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Posted : Jul-27-2023

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One of the hallmarks of King Solomon’s life was his immense wisdom. In our reading, we learn that Solomon attained his wisdom by asking God for it. The following chapters show us how Solomon manifested that wisdom, and we still benefit from his wisdom today through what he has written for us in the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.

The wisdom that the Bible describes isn’t the same as head knowledge. One can have plenty of knowledge yet lack wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Here, we see that wisdom is primarily moral in nature, and is connected to piety. Proverbs later extols the reader to seek wisdom as much as possible:

Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown. (Proverbs 4:5-9)

This advice rings as true now as it did in Solomon’s day. We should make the seeking of wisdom one of our highest priorities in life. St. James exhorts us, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). We can obtain this wisdom through the word of God. As today’s Psalm states it: The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

We should also be surrounding ourselves with godly company, as Proverbs tells us: Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). If we follow these precepts we should not fail to obtain the same wisdom as Solomon.

J. Luis Dizon