There are hidden depths of meaning in the Bible's use of the word Wisdom.

Thursday, 5/23/13

Our first reading today is about Wisdom, but there are various ways of understanding what Scripture means by Wisdom. At times it refers to the person of the Holy Spirit who is Wisdom itself. But In the Book of Proverbs  it is contrasted with Folly so that there Wisdom means the habit of avoiding foolish choices. In today’s reading it seems to mean the truth. So, in quoting five sentences from today’s reading, let us try substituting the word Truth for Wisdom.

He who loves Truth loves life.

Those who love Truth love the Holy One.

Those who trust the Truth will possess her, and their descendents as well will inherit Truth.

Truth walks with one like a stranger ((The way the Risen Lord walked with the disciples on their way to Emmaus.) And at first she puts him to a test. But then she comes back to bring him happiness, and reveals her secrets to him.    

If he fails the Truth she will abandon him, and deliver him into the hands of  despoiler.

Perhaps, though, we should not put aside he Bible’s using Wisdom to mean the Holy Spirit. That would have us seeing today’s passage as telling us, “He who loves the Holy Spirit loves life.” And, “Those who love the Holy Spirit love the Holy One.” And “Those who love the Holy Spirit will possess it.”

Perhaps, we should take today’s reading’s use of Wisdom as referring to the habit of avoiding foolish choices. In that way we can read these passages as telling us, “He who develops the habit of avoiding foolish choices loves life.” And, “He who develops the habit of avoiding foolish choices loves the Holy One.”

The Bible’s use of the word Wisdom is symbolic. What you must recognize about genuine symbols is that they are endlessly provocative of deeper meanings.

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