Wisdom in the Hebrew Scriptures is personified. She is often at work and in today’s First Reading from Proverbs 9 she is building a house with seven pillars. She invites those without common sense to come and eat bread and drink wine so as to lay aside immaturity, live and walk in the way of insight. These thoughts run through all the readings today. Psalm 34 counsels people to praise God and seek the Lord to lack no good thing. Ephesians 5 encourages us to live as the wise do, making the most of our time and discerning God’s will. There is a caution not to get drunk but to be filled with the Spirit and give thanks to God at all times for everything. The Gospel from John has mysterious words of eating flesh and drinking blood in order to obtain eternal life.
Wisdom is at work, building a sturdy house on solid ground and is an example for us. Christ too is wanting to build a strong house as he commands the people to eat and drink so that they may be raised up on the last day. His flesh is the true food; his blood the true drink. This is not a snack to tide one over. This is sustenance.
We do not graze when we come to the Eucharist. We should be hungry and grateful to receive that which will satisfy us. This is not the table to nibble and walk away, unsatisfied. This is the meal that will last forever. As I have said in an earlier post, this is not about Thanksgetting but Thanksgiving.
Last night I watched Beyond the Mask, a Christian film about redemption. When we come to mass we lay aside immaturity and walk in the way of insight if our hearts are open to receive the gifts at the table. We can be redeemed from the damage we have done during the week. As in the film, we have a choice to let God rule in our lives. Often we wear masks or get drunk with wine and behave foolishly. If we can strip ourselves of our masks, build on solid ground, and trust in what we eat and drink to transform us, we can have eternal life.
How hungry do you come to the table?
What masks need to be stripped away so that you build wisely on solid ground?
Wisdom is a builder
in pink gingham
and steel-toed boots.
She is beautiful and strong.
Her work is out-of-this world
and heavenly, beyond our dreams.
Lay down your tools of mass self-destruction
Take up the cup and plate of Life.
Walk in the way of insight and live.