THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2020
WISDOM OF GOD OR OF THE AGE
February 16, 2020
1 Corinthians 2:6-10
To be built on Rock is to listen to and act on God’s
words. These words are about the very wisdom of God. “Immense
is the wisdom of the Lord; mighty in power, he sees all things.”
(Sir 15:18). Awesome is the wisdom of God! And such wisdom
is intended for our good. “Rather, we speak God’s
wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before
the ages for our glory” (1 Cor 2:7). The mysterious
wisdom of God has been there for all eternity for our glory!
the wisdom of God is so very totally different from, and even
diametrically opposed to, the wisdom of the world. “Yet
we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom
of this age” (1 Cor 2:6a). God’s wisdom is opposed
to the zeitgeist, which is about the spirit of the age and
man’s “wisdom” that is conformed to the
culture of the world. The zeitgeist is about the wisdom “of
the rulers of this age who are passing away.” (1 Cor
2:6b). The zeitgeist changes according to the prevailing culture,
while God’s wisdom is unchanging and eternal. As Jesus
himself said about the law of God: “Amen, I say to you,
until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter
or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until
all things have taken place.” (Mt 5:18).
The wisdom of God can even be very different from the wisdom
of religious scholars and leaders who profess to adhere to
the law of God. Jesus said, “I tell you, unless your
righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt
is God’s wisdom so radically different from the wisdom
of the world? Here are some of Jesus’ teachings.
anger. People take offense and get angry at other people
all the time, including with brethren in Christian community.
But Jesus says that “whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment” (Mt 5:22a). In some graver
instances, one will even “be liable to fiery Gehenna.”
(Mt 5:22c). What does this say about brethren who cause
conflict, strife, dissension and disunity in the body?
On offering a gift to God on the altar. Jesus says be reconciled
with your brother first before offering your gift (Mt 5:23-24).
What does this say about Catholics who go to Mass and even
receive Holy Communion but are in grievous sin, such as
support for abortion, divorce, homosexuality and euthanasia?
On adultery. Christians would know that they are not to
commit adultery. But Jesus says that to look at a woman
with lust is already adultery (Mt 5:28). What does this
say about those who indulge in pornography or relish explicit
sexual content in movies?
On avoiding sin. Christians know they are to avoid sin.
But Jesus tells us to tear out our eye or cut off our hand
if these cause us to sin (Mt 5:29-30). What does this say
about Christians who do not avoid occasions of and for sin?
On divorce. In the face of practically all nations in the
world legalizing divorce, with the reality that many Catholics
have separated or divorced, with some in the Church allowing
Communion to those divorced and remarried, Jesus says that
divorce and remarriage constitute adultery (Mt 5:32). What
does this say about clerics and prelates who give Communion
to public sinners and adulterers?
On oaths. Jesus tells us not to swear at all but to just
be truthful with a plain yes or no (Mt 5:34-37). What does
this say about those Christians, including leaders in the
Church, who lie, tell half-truths, malign others, renege
on commitments, lack integrity?
God speaks, we listen, and we act on His words. To act is
our choice, since God does not impose things on us, even the
wondrous things such as His words and salvation. “If
you choose, you can keep the commandments” (Sir 15:15a).
But we must know that the consequence of our choice is about
life and death. “Before everyone are life and death,
whichever they choose will be given them.” (Sir 15:17).
The choice is about building on rock or on sand, about not
collapsing or collapsing. The choice is about being the least
or the greatest in the Kingdom of God. “Therefore, whoever
breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches
others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called
greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:19).
taking on God’s wisdom has consequences not just on
ourselves, but on others in the world. People in the world
could end up committing the greatest sins and missing the
greatest blessings. So it was that the reigning power and
the people and the religious leaders had Jesus crucified.
God’s wisdom “none of the rulers of this age knew;
for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the
Lord of glory.” (1 Cor 2:8).
the other hand, taking on God’s wisdom and obeying God’s
laws bring great blessings. “Blessed those whose way
is blameless, who walk by the law of the Lord. Blessed those
who keep his testimonies, who seek him with all their heart.”
So the way forward for us should be clear. First, we should
see and marvel at the wisdom of God’s words. “Open
my eyes to see clearly the wonders of your law.” (Ps
119:18).Second, we should have the heartfelt desire to obey
and live out God’s law. “Lord, teach me the way
of your statutes; I shall keep them with care. Give me understanding
to keep your law, to observe it with all my heart.”
(Ps 119:33-34). Then third, we should be firm in the observance
of God’s ways. “You have given them the command
to observe your precepts with care. May my ways be firm in
the observance of your statutes!” (Ps 119:4-5).
If we take on God’s wisdom, if we listen to and act
on God’s words, then we will be built on the Rock that
is Christ. Then we can look to the bountiful blessings God
has already prepared for those who love, fear and obey Him.
“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what
has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for
those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).