All wisdom is from the Lord,
and with him it remains forever.
The sand of the sea, the drops of rain,
and the days of eternity—who can count them?
The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth,
the abyss, and wisdom—who can search them out?
Wisdom was created before all other things,
and prudent understanding from eternity.
The root of wisdom—to whom has it been revealed?
Her subtleties—who knows them?
There is but one who is wise, greatly to be feared,
seated upon his throne—the Lord.
It is he who created her;
he saw her and took her measure;
he poured her out upon all his works,
upon all the living according to his gift;
he lavished her upon those who love him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In reading the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, we are invited into God’s knowledge and understanding of everything. I found beauty in the first reading from Sirach today as I considered the rhetorical questions the author posed in each stanza. I certainly do not and cannot grasp all of the things the author names, but I find relief in that. I can never know how many grains of sand there are on the seashore or where the root of wisdom lies; these things are out of my control and not my responsibility to comprehend. Faith comes in recognizing and trusting that God has all of these things numbered and that it is not my job to hold the entire universe together. God can account for all of this and keep it aligned. And still God cares for and loves me as part of this vast creation.
—Sara Spittler is the First Years Chaplain and a Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Lord God, you created the universe and everything in it. Show me how to honor and care for the gifts of creation, while remembering that I am not you, and trusting that you care for it infinitely better than I can. Increase my faith and remind me that I am always loved by you. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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