The definition of the word wisdom from the dictionary is to discern the ability of that which is truth. The Holy Spirit enables us to discern truth from falsity. This ability to recognize that which is truth is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; we call that gift wisdom. Along with the gifts of knowledge, right judgment, respect for God and wonder and awe, the believer is able to discern that which is of the greatest value, God. The First Reading from the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time refers to this ability to distinguish true wealth and security from the falsity of wealth and security. “I prayed, and prudence was given me: I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” (Wisdom 7:7-11) To truly act wisely, we must unite ourselves to God in prayer and through prayer we will choose wisely. “I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her.” Wisdom of God is the greatest treasure, which is to be valued above all else, for it is eternal.

God’s wisdom is given to us in God’s word, “Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12-13) The fact that the word of God is living and effective means that the word of God can speak to us about how we should live out our own daily lives. The living word of God can bring clarity to any particular situation we have going on in our lives. “We must render an account” (Hebrews 4:12-13), that is Jesus’ response to the man who was seeking God. The man asked Jesus: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17-30) Jesus first asks him: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone?” 

The man clearly is seeking the wisdom and he possesses this wisdom of God because by identifying Jesus as “good,” he has discerned and reflected that he is from God. Then Jesus says: “You know the commandments?” The man took an account and responded: “Teacher, all of these I have observed.” Jesus tells him to trust in God’s word and sell everything and follow him. The man could not do this and went away sad. How many of us could do this ourselves? Wisdom asks us to discern this request from Jesus and to open our hearts and take accountability on how well we have been able to do this in our lives. The man, even though he went away sad because he could not sell everything at that time, did however have the knowledge of Jesus and that knowledge means that he had potential in the future to discern wisely and sell everything and follow Jesus. That potential also exists for us as well. What we are unable to do today in the name of Jesus, we may have the strength to do tomorrow. The psalm calls us to ask for the Lord’s wisdom and knowledge, “Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy.” (Psalm 90). We are to love and value God’s wisdom above all else.

What must we do to inherit eternal life? Jesus answers this question by telling us that “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” That response makes it sound impossible for us to inherit eternal life. Well, it is for us, Jesus tells us: “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.” If we love and value truth and seek the wisdom of God, we will inherit eternal life for what we will understand is that eternal life comes from God and what we are called to do is value that gift above all else and leave all else behind and follow Jesus Christ.