YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: SEEK WISDOM AND YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND HIDDEN TRUTH OF LIFE.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
READINGS: Proverbs 9: 1-6, Ps. 34, Ephesians 5: 15-20, John 6: 51-58
God the maker of the world is wisdom per excellence and the owner of it who gives it out to those he desires and who seek it. In him is the storehouse of wisdom and from him wisdom proceeds to his creatures at his will. This is why he made the world and all it contains in wisdom. The mystery of the world is sealed in undiscoverable thread and the wisdom that cannot be exhumed. It would be right to say that humans cannot see and know all about themselves and the world they live in because certain things are hidden from them which only the Spirit called Pure Wisdom can know about. If any man wants to be extraordinary and tower high above others, he needs extraordinary gift of wisdom from God. Many things are wrapped in wisdom dark and cover; yet wisdom is not too farfetched and something that cannot be gotten or discovered though it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Whoever has it is controlled by the Holy Spirit and has God’s direction in and with him.
Beloved, since wisdom can be at the disposal of man the wisdom writer in the book of Proverb today speaks with personification. The writer addresses wisdom in feminine gender and so as a woman who possess what it can boast of and which can help humanity and as a charitable and generous woman, calls those who desire it and who know its worth to come for it freely and have it. This wisdom has the capability to build a house where it stores it gifts and its house is strongly built with seven pillars which cannot be shaken. The number seven here can be likened to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit aid the possession of wisdom and when anyone has some of them he or she shall surely live in wisdom. Wisdom is like a meal ready to be eaten by any who desires it. It is like as sweet wine that cheers the heart and intoxicates positively the soul to act by its inducement. Wisdom is like a Queen who sends her maids to call people to come and have their fill. To acquire wisdom you need simplicity of heart. It is found in the highest places meaning that it surpasses every other thing man can posses or lay hold of. Whoever receives wisdom receives simplicity and insight and so lacks nothing to face life and its vicissitudes.
Beloved, it is the truth of this knowledge that made St Paul in the second reading to admonish the Christians of Ephesus and by extension to us all presently. We must learn to work and behave like wise people and never associate with unwise people or behave unwisely. The evil word and its evil days look for its prey in those who do not recognise wisdom gifts as fortress and refuge. The highest exposition and portrayal of foolishness is not knowing God and following his ways according to Paul’s teaching here. To know one’s destiny and the will of God for him is great wisdom but not to seek this understanding is self deceit and foolishness. Getting drunk with human earthly wine destroys wisdom foundation but wisdom wine leads to its possession and movement by its unction. We must seek wisdom and then be filled with its spirit which guides us to utmost and efficient performance in all things we do.
Beloved, wisdom gives us knowledge and understanding of the hidden truth and mysteries in Christ. Jesus in the gospel started giving the Jews the message of the hidden truth about him in the Eucharist last Sunday but because they lacked wisdom they did not understand it. This same truth he has continued to teach us in today’s gospel but the Jews without wisdom ask him how they can eat human’s body. Jesus tried to take them through wisdom lane that unless they eat of his flesh and blood that they would not have like in them. In him is eternal life if they have wisdom to grasp it. Jesus after this teaching could not convince them since they still could not ascend the throne of wisdom. Without wisdom acquisition we shall remain earth bound and material people who see only material things. We shall become people of lower minds who see ephemeral and transitory things when they are shown divine and lasting things about life. We must live above our material nature in order to climb the ladder of wisdom and see with understanding whatever God teaches us in thing world of materiality. We must go beyond the material to see the substance, essence and form of all things were the spiritual nature resides.
I pray that we may submit ourselves to the divine laboratory and eat of what the Lord and his Spirit offer us. This would make us taste and see the goodness of the Lord. Lord, teach us in wisdom the fear of the Lord that we may desire and long for life so as to see prosperity in God all our days. May the Lord help us to have the wisdom to guard our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking deceit and that we may turn aside from evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf