THE TRUE FRIENDSHIP IN...
One of my lecturers made me understand that there are different degrees of friendship. There are friends whose interactions do not go beyond casual exchange of pleasantries on social media or even in real life, and such friends may not even care to know one another’s names. There are friends who can comfortably discuss issues of personal interests with one another; know one another’s names but may not be comfortable to receive one another in their homes. There are friends who can even go beyond mere interaction and exchange of pleasantries to the point of comfortably receiving one another in their homes. But there are friends who can comfortably receive each other not only in their homes but into their living rooms even to the point of sharing a meal. The last degree of friendship is what we may call FRIENDSHIP WITHOUT BOUNDARIES. When it comes to the point of COMFORTABLY SHARING A MEAL with a friend, what it means is that a strong unbreakable bond has been created.
(from Proverbs 9:1-6), WISDOM is personified as a woman who has built herself a house; prepared a great meal of exquisite taste and flavor; and has sent out her maids to invite WHOEVER IS SIMPLE: not just a SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOR but ANYONE WHO IS WITHOUT SENSE; not just a PERSON OF HIGH SOCIAL STANDING, but a PERSON OF LOW SOCIAL STATUS. In other words, every TOM, DICK AND HARRY (that is, every person) is a SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOR to the banquet of wisdom. To Wisdom then, we are all FRIENDS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES.
Now, we may ask ourselves: Who is this WISDOM? And what is this HER special meal to which SHE is inviting us? In response to the above questions, we will have recourse to the scripture: our commonest point of reference. As regards the questions above, St Paul gives us a clue in the second reading (Ephesians 5:15-20) as he says: “Look carefully, brethren, how you walk, not as FOOLISH people but as WISE people… Therefore do not be FOOLISH, but understand what the will of the LORD is.” From this, we can deduce that it is the Lord who is inviting us not to be FOOLISH but to be WISE, for that is His will. Again, the Psalmist confirms our thinking by saying that we should “TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD” (Ps. 34:8). And St Paul definitely concludes by saying that “to those who believe, Christ is the power of God and WISDOM of God.” (cf. 1 Cor. 1:24). What else do we have to say? From the above deductions, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Jesus is that ETERNAL WISDOM; and He himself is that BANQUET that has been prepared! What it then means is that WISDOM is no longer what I subjectively conceive it to be; it is no longer what individuals and philosophers have discordantly conceived it to be. It remains an OBJECTIVE REALITY which is Jesus Himself.
Jesus is the banquet we need to eat to grow wise. Jesus the eternal wisdom of God is inviting us to Himself to come and eat and be wise, for “HE WHO EATS HIS FLESH AND DRINKS HIS BLOOD ABIDES IN HIM, AND HE IN HIM” (cf. Jn. 6:56). He is the NOURISHMENT we need for us to grow in the FEAR OF GOD. Remember: THERE WILL BE NO FEAR OF GOD IF THERE IS NO WISDOM, “for the beginning (and product) of wisdom is the fear of God” (cf. Prov. 9:10). How much of this Wisdom do we have in us? How often do we seek Jesus? Do we desire to have Him abide in us? How often do we listen to His words of wisdom? Mark Twain says that WISDOM IS THE REWARD YOU GET FOR A LIFETIME OF LISTENING WHEN YOU WOULD RATHER HAVE TALKED. In Jesus, the banquet of wisdom is ready. We must go and eat and become what we eat. If we continue to eat this special banquet of wisdom, we shall ever be wise. And to be WISE is to KNOW the right thing and DO it.
We look around and see that there is so much impiety in the world. This is so because many of us have declined the invitation to come to the banquet of wisdom. Even those who claim to have received the Author of Wisdom have, by their actions, scarcely proved that they have really received Him. When I claim that I have received Jesus in His words and Sacraments but my actions have consistently sparked off wickedness, stupidity and foolishness, I must ask myself whether I have actually received Him. When I have received Jesus and listened to His words telling me not to steal or kill or slander or submit to immorality, and still find myself indulging in these and other sins, then I AM STILL FAR AWAY FROM THE BANQUET OF WISDOM.
Have a nice week