19 August 2018
Wisdom builds her house and invites all to eat her bread there
Wisdom has built herself a house,
she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine,
she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants
and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread,
drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception.’
Be filled not with wine, but with the Spirit
Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord. Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception
There was one time where the choir in Mass was singing less than desirable. The celebrant commented to me separately that in such cases, we need to listen using the ears of faith. The first reading of today remind us that indeed we need to listen using the gift of faith rather than our usual 5 human senses.
The wisdom of God is sometimes not easily understood by all of us. There are times where we go through life’s challenges and then it presents to us issues which we dare not accept. It is in such times where we need to use the gift of faith to appreciate that what we have before us is to help us grow in maturity as a person.
The Jews in the Gospel today remind us that it is not easy for us to accept the teaching of Christ at the first hearing. There will always be a situation where what we believe and what Christ expects froms us are two completely different things. This is especially so in the Holy Eucharist where it is a main point of our faith.
We can overcome such issues by taking our doubts in prayer and to ask God the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds. This is a process which is only in God’s time but we can certainly see through it with patience and trust in God. As we continue with our faith experience, let us always entrust our intentions to God.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Father, we pray for the wisdom to accept the challenges we face in our lives.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who love us despite our flaws.