Wisdom of the Holy Spirit

In the message of May 25, 2001, Our Lady says:

... seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead you …

The quest for wisdom is common to all cultures of the ancient Middle and Far East – Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China. The wisdom sought in these cultures always involved a practical purpose, namely that of behaving in such a way as to succeed in life. This always led to a certain understanding of the world, and a certain conception of morality, within a Religious context. In Greece of the 6th century before Christ, this reflection became more and more speculative, so that wisdom turned into philosophy. Wisdom was, therefore, an important element of ancient civilization. It could be called the humanism of antiquity.

In biblical reflection the Word of God takes the form of wisdom, but this does not mean that the revelation becomes a mere form of humanism. Inspired wisdom, even when it includes the best elements of human wisdom, is always essentially distinct from humanism, and this is particularly evident in the New Testament.

Wisdom in the Old Testament

The first wise man the Old Testament mentions is king Solomon: his wisdom does not come from men, but from Yahweh, from whom he asks “an understanding heart to judge” his people “and to distinguish right from wrong” (1 Kings 3,9). This is how Solomon is elevated beyond the sin of our forefathers Adam and Eve, who – incited by the serpent – wanted to become “like gods who know what is good and what is bad” (Genesis 3,5), taking something which God, in His wisdom, kept for Himself.

The prophets of the Old Testament raise their voice against the false wisdom of the royal councillors and scribes; led by human interests, they transform the Law of Yahweh into a lie (Jeremiah 8,8; Isaiah 29,15), despising the Word of God, which is the only source of true wisdom (Jeremiah 8,9). Isaiah announces the coming of a just king who will posses the fullness of the wisdom of the Spirit of Yahweh: “a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord. Not ba appearance shall he judge, not by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.” (Isaiah 11,1-5) This teaching of the prophets rejects the temptation to succumb to a self complacent humanism: the salvation of man comes only from God.

Towards true wisdom

The destruction of Jerusalem confirms the teaching of the prophets: the false wisdom of the royal councillors leads the country to ruin! From now onwards, true wisdom can freely develop in Israel. Its foundation is the Law of God, and its crown is the Fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9,10; Sirach 1,14-20). From now onwards, the scribes, rid of their arrogant pretensions, will include in their reflection all the good which human thinking can offer them, and humanism can develop in the light of faith.

Jesus – the Wisdom of God

Jesus teaches in the manner of the wise men of the Old Testament: he uses their style, speaking in proverbs and comparisons. Like them, He gives the rules of life (Sermon on the Mountain, Matthew 5,6,7), not to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to accomplish them fully (Matthew 5,17). Many disciples turn away from Him, because His wisdom is “hard, and who can accept it?” (John 6,60). Jesus promises His disciples the gift of wisdom (Luke 21,15), but the crown of all His works is the promise of the Holy Spirit, which will be given after Jesus is glorified, so that the disciples may understand fully and be able to apply, to live and to spread His teaching. (John 7,39; 14,16; 16,13) "It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation.» (John 16,7-8) “Rivers of living water will flow from within him! He said this en reference to the Spirit that those who came to believe in him were to receive.” (John 7,38-39)

Dying on the cross, Jesus yields up His spirit. (John 19,30) As a Good Shepherd, He gives His life freely: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.” (John 10,17-18)

More than a prophet, more than a messiah, Jesus is the Servant of Yahweh, the Son of God and the Son of Man who has to suffer in order to transmit to men the wisdom of God and the glory of God (Isaiah 52,13-53,12), to pour out His Spirit and thus show all the wisdom of God’s plan of salvation.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside. Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1,18-31)

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit!” (Galatians 5,25)