It was once said that two of the best companions for a lifetime were books. The first, of course, was the Bible. The second was a dictionary. Wisdom was to be found in the words we read in the Bible. This wisdom opened our ears and eyes to the Word made flesh, Jesus. Clarity of words (their meaning and spelling) was available in the dictionary. With this clarity we could share and communicate what we had discovered and understood about Jesus. The Bible, or at least some of it, becomes inscribed in our hearts and on our minds. Its truth, beauty and wisdom never change.
The dictionary remained at our side, especially while doing crosswords or playing Scrabble! But it is always incomplete and sometimes of no benefit. New words are added to our language each day. Some reflect the role of technology in the world. Other words just seem to be “made up”. They accompany fads and passing (or just plain senseless) theories about who we are and about popular culture.
But there is comfort and familiarity in the words of today’s Mass readings. Here is language we can sink our teeth into! In seeking God’s wisdom we understand who we are, and in whose image we have been made. We begin to understand that the things and pursuits that we value in this life point us to God’s Kingdom, as long as we guard against pride, greed and selfishness!