Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sirach 24:1-12

Christmas 2 – Year B

Sirach 24:1-12

In this passage not often heard in today's church there is a sense of the drilling down of wisdom from the general of creation to the specific of geography known as here, from time immemorial to this present moment. Where and when should wisdom alight? Well, why not here and now! Can you sense wisdom alighting in your honored life? Hooray!

From the book Where Shall Wisdom Be Found: Wisdom In The Bible, The Church And The Contemporary World, the end of the article "Sirach and Wisdom's Dwelling Place" by C.T.R. Hayward:
     "Disaster befell Sirach's beloved Temple when, in the year 70 CE, the Romans put it to the torch. Yet Sirach's Greek translation of his grandfather's book was not forgotten. It was included in the Greek Old Testament and was thus available for Gentile Christians to ponder. For them, the work proved so popular that it was regularly read in worship, and in course of time came to be called Ecclesiasticus, a 'church book' of great distinction. No doubt this process was encouraged because St. Paul, the earliest Christian writer, had dubbed Christ 'the wisdom of God' (1 Cor 1.24, 30; cf. Col 2.3), and because the evangelists had, in their several ways, used Temple imagery to speak of Christ's body (Jn. 2:20-22; Mt 26:61; Mk 14:58). Sirach proved to be a rich quarry from which the Church's teachers could unearth almost inexhaustible theological resources in their explorations of Christ's relationship to God. And since Wisdom, both in Hebrew and Greek, is personified as a woman, the way was open for them to develop their thinking on the role of the Blessed Virgin in the Christian economy of salvation. Reflection on Mary as Wisdom and Mother of God, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, is discernible already in the writing of St. Ambrose (De Spiritu Sancto 2.51, PL 16.753), and was destined to bear abundant and nourishing fruit in the liturgies of the Eastern and Western Churches alike."

The Three Wise Guys may be profitably transfigured into Gals. If this, even transfigured into your life. After Henry Van Dyke we can move beyond a fourth Magi to a fifth and further on down the line to you as a receiver and sharer of G*D's Wisdom. As said on Out in Scripture: An honest encounter between LGBT lives and the Bible, "Not only is Jesus Wisdom’s Child, but through God’s Word/Wisdom so are we. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender believers bear witness that it is not the church who says whether or not we are God’s children, nor our sexuality, not even our theology or orthodoxy – but it is our welcome of this one sent from God. The Logos/Sophia does not discriminate based on race, class, gender or sexual orientation."

Resolution 2: To acknowledge the distillation of wisdom found in the set of experiences known as mine – to be one more branch from the root of an honored people.

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