Do you remember who taught you to tie your shoes? Well, whoever did gave you a gift that would serve you a lifetime. Think of this and of many other such examples of people who have loved you enough to teach you and to give you tools to survive and to live your life. This exercise will help you understand the concept of biblical wisdom and the purpose of “The Wisdom Movement” that was taking place just before the advent of the Messiah. The conclusion of those who, by divine inspiration, composed the “wisdom literature” was that the greatest wisdom one could receive—the greatest tool for living life—would be the wisdom or lesson of how to do the will of God and to save your soul. The logic here is not complicated.
The Wisdom Movement was at its peak when Jesus walked the earth. He identified himself with the concepts and thinking of the Wisdom Movement, especially because they included the idea of resurrection and afterlife. The Wisdom Books in the Old Testament are: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom (hello?), and Sirach. The content of these books are all either lessons in “divine how to” or praise of the person who seeks after Divine Wisdom. Today’s first reading is a song about those who seek ultimate wisdom:
“Resplendent and unfading
and she is readily perceived by those who love her…
For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever for her sake keeps vigil, shall quickly be free
from care …”
The gospel passage from Matthew has Jesus offering his listeners a parable—a much loved vehicle for teaching divine wisdom. This parable about “the wise and foolish” means to teach Jesus’ disciples about the salvific value of waiting and watching vigilantly for the arrival of the bridegroom (Jesus), and of being ready as the bride (the Church), for the great wedding to take place—the wedding of the Lamb of God to the People of God, the Baptized—that is, you and I! And what a bridegroom we have, for he IS Wisdom itself—the Way, the Truth, and the Life—the ultimate wisdom!
Now, let’s see. I remember how to tie my shoes and dress myself. Do I remember how to do the will of God and to dispose myself to Jesus’ redemption and salvation?