3 April, Saturday — Learning about the importance of wisdom

Holy Saturday — Sixth Reading

Bar 3:9 – 15,32 – 4:4

Who has found the place of wisdom?

As someone who has not attended the Easter Vigil for years (or more accurately, decades), the Oxygen reflections were a good chance for me to find out more about the passages featured in this ‘mother of all masses’. According to my somewhat dusty Bible, the book of Baruch is a collection of writings meant to instruct and comfort the diaspora of Jews – those who had settled in foreign lands after being exiled from Jerusalem and were still trying to hold on to their faith. Chapters 3 and 4, in particular, dwell on the importance of wisdom. However, I did not really manage to find out why this reading is part of the Easter Vigil, and when I first read it, it seemed slightly out of place after the relatively more dramatic stories which preceded it.    

But then it occurred to me that this apparent lack of connection could itself be an important reminder. Often during my faith journey, I tend to place more emphasis on memorable, ‘God speaks to me through a thunder clap’ type of events and less on the quieter moments trying to reflect on these events as well as on other calmer ones – and even less on the process of learning more about my faith. (In a somewhat misguided attempt to mitigate this, I signed up for the Bible in the Year podcast at the beginning of this year but have yet to listen further than the 1 Jan session. Then, I thought I would try to read the Bible more often during Lent, but alas have only done so in bits and pieces.)

This does not stand me in good stead when I encounter ideas different from, or even hostile to, Catholic teachings, and often I find myself confused and uncertain of how to react because I lack the appropriate foundation of knowledge. Perhaps I am rather similar to the diaspora of Jews in this aspect.

Seen in this light, the passage from Baruch can serve as both reassurance and reminder. It can offer encouragement that God is always willing to save us, and that His Word and His wisdom are always accessible to us wherever we are in our faith journey. Nonetheless, despite His patience and generosity, we also need to keep focused on discerning His wisdom in order to stay close to Him. Perhaps I should revisit my resolution to read more of my Bible, yet again…   

(Today’s OXYGEN by Jaclyn Lam)

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for the times we have ignored your wisdom either wilfully, or due to ignorance. Send your Holy Spirit upon us to grant us willingness to discover your wisdom and discern how we can respond to ideas or perspectives which are not aligned to it.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for always being willing to share your wisdom with us, as long as we keep our minds and hearts open to you. Thank you for the wealth of resources we have today, online and offline, to learn more about your teachings.

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