Sep 1 2020 Reflection
Tuesday 1 September 2020
First Reading: 1 COR 2:10B-16
The Lord is just in all his ways.
PS 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13AB, 13CD-14
Gospel Reading: LK 4:31-37
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
We speak . . . with words taught by the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:13)
Paul was a well-educated man. Born in the cosmopolitan city of Tarsus, he was exposed to Greek philosophy at an early age. Then, “at the feet of Gamaliel”—one of the most celebrated rabbis of the time—he was “educated strictly in [the] ancestral law and was zealous for God” (Acts 22:3).
But after Jesus revealed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus, the words of the prophets he had studied took on new meaning. He realized that Jesus was the fulfillment of all they had written. Not only did Paul grasp the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but through his letters he interpreted these events in a way that has become the theological foundation of our faith.
This is amazing. Though Paul was obviously brilliant, we can’t attribute his masterful writings to his human intellect and knowledge of his faith alone. He truly spoke with words that were taught to him by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13).
We live in a time when human learning is valued more than ever—and for good reason. God gave us our reason and intellect, and he wants us to use them. But he also wants to build on our natural wisdom with his own wisdom and revelation—and he does that through the Holy Spirit.
What does this look like? As you are trying to understand a Scripture passage, you might consult a commentary. But then you could also pray for deeper insight into what the author meant. Or what if you are trying to explain a difficult Church teaching to someone? Learn as much as you can, but also keep asking the Holy Spirit to give you the words to say to that person.
God doesn’t reserve his wisdom just for his saints and apostles. He wants all of us to ask for it—and to believe that he will give it to us!
“Holy Spirit, fill me with your heavenly wisdom!”