I was really struck by today’s First Reading from James 3:13-18, which follows:

Beloved:
Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show his works by a good life
in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish
ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth.
Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above
but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

The world’s definition of wisdom is very much different from the Bible’s definition.  We consider someone “wise” if he manages to make a lot of money without having to exert so much effort or doing something illegal without getting caught.

But in today’s reading, we are taught that the wisdom that comes from above is pure, peaceful, gentle, merciful, and full of good fruits.  It is so different from the wisdom of the world which is often abrasive, loud, arrogant, and self-righteous.

This reading is a gentle reminder to me of the wisdom that I should be aiming for… and one that I can only achieve through prayer and submission to the Spirit.

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