Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven columns; she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine, yes, she has spread her table. She has sent out her maidens; she calls from the heights out over the city: “Let whoever is simple turn in here; to the one who lacks understanding, she says, ‘Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.’”
Brothers and sisters: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord. And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Gospel Cycle Cycle B
Jesus said to the crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
Today the readings invite us to live wisely. Wisdom is a gift described in the Old Testament as a deep understanding and comprehension of other people, of things that happen or of situations in which we find ourselves and this wisdom gives us an ability to make choices and act in a way to have a good or a better life.
Wisdom is a practical gift, not just a gift of intellectual understanding. It is important to recognize this gift in our lives. The first reading today, from the Book of Proverbs, speaks of this wisdom.
The Gospel today then helps us understand how this wisdom is present in our accepting of the gift that Jesus gives to us: His body and His blood for the life of the world. Many of His followers could not accept the reality of this gift. Perhaps they did not believe that He is God, perhaps they could not accept the form of the gift, or perhaps there were other causes of their rejection of Jesus. They would not walk with Him anymore.
Part of growing in our Christian faith is coming to the point where we know that we must decide to believe and continue with belief, or we must choose against belief. These situations either deepen our faith or they make our faith less.
The Letter to the Ephesians brings the first reading and the Gospel together when it tells us: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise… do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
If we are to live wisely, we must take the time to reflect on our lives and on any decisions that are necessary in our lives. We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of Wisdom. Let us be attentive so that we may live.