Let’s enter into the wisdom of the cross

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE gospel reading of the Mass on Tuesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time (Mk 9,30-37) reminds us that true wisdom, given our wounded human condition here on earth, can only be found in the cross of Christ.

“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise,” Christ told his bewildered disciples as it does to all of us now. But the fact is that it is through Christ’s suffering and death that our redemption is achieved. His resurrection, his victory over all our sins and death itself, is achieved through the cross. This is how we have to see the value and the wisdom of the cross.

We need to understand, guided by our Christian faith, that if we want to be truly wise, we need to look at Christ’s cross, understand its significance, and start to be consistent with it.

This is the kind of wisdom every believer and follower of Christ should have. It’s not enough to have the wisdom of this world, no matter how practical that may be, nor the wisdom of the flesh, no matter how mind-blowing, much less the wisdom of words, no matter how clever.

The wisdom of the cross is first of all a gift of the Holy Spirit to us before it becomes a virtue in us. Since it’s a gift, we have to pray for it constantly and be as receptive to it as we can be. Since it’s a gift that needs to be a virtue, we have to cultivate and develop it also.

The wisdom of the cross is the most perfect gift, embodying all the other spiritual gifts, since it makes charity complete and perfect by infusing light and love into our soul.

With it we are able to discern God and the divine things in everything that we see and do. It gives us the appetite to relate everything to God, linking us to God through the things of this world.

It goes beyond understanding and knowledge which enable us to know divine and natural things in themselves and in their mutual relations, but without relating them to God, their ultimate cause.

These gifts and virtues do not automatically lead us to love, since they fall short of bringing us to God who is love, as St. John said so succinctly. It’s wisdom that does that. Wisdom makes us into contemplative souls, seeing and loving God in everything.

With this definition of wisdom, it can be said that it’s hardly seen around, since that reference to God is scarcely done in the things we do. We think, reason out, speak, act and behave often by ourselves, without God.

But it can reside deep in our hearts, not visible to our senses and our worldly ways. As the Book of Wisdom says: “In each generation wisdom passes into holy souls, she makes them friends of God and prophets.” (7,27)

In cultivating and developing wisdom as a virtue in us, we need to struggle against things like laziness, disorder, unhealthy attachments, pride and all forms of sin. In fact, everything can be a frontline in this struggle.

Thus, this wisdom has to be the wisdom of the cross, which is the wisdom of Christ, since Christ showed the ultimate saving truth and love, and shares these things with us up to now, by dying on the cross.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

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