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Out of the Mouths of Babes

First Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven columns; she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine, yes, she has spread her table. She has sent out her maidens; she calls from the heights out over the city: “Let whoever is simple turn in here; To the one who lacks understanding, she says, Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad. Glorify the LORD with me, let us together extol his name. I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him.

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

Brothers and sisters: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.  And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Gospel: John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

ESV

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Today’s readings speak of wisdom. In thinking about wisdom, I can’t help but think of little children. Countless times working as a catechist and teacher, I have been amazed by the wisdom of young children. “Out of the mouths of babes, comes wisdom.” How true it is. We adults often want to know all the answers, to make all the right decisions, and to get it right without any mistake. We want to be so “wise.” Yet today’s readings invite us to be simple and turn like little children to receive the gifts of wisdom and goodness from God’s banquet table. The First Reading refers to wisdom as a woman who has prepared her table of rich food and drink, and the Gospel reveals Jesus, true Wisdom Incarnate, who gives Himself to us as our true food and drink at the Eucharistic table.

It’s often so hard to know what to do, how to discern and what decisions to make. How can we know the right answer? How do we know what is best? In these times, we need wisdom. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill and inspire us with His wisdom. The readings teach us that God’s wisdom is not given to those who are knowledgeable by earthly standards. Wisdom is given to the simple, to those who do not understand, and to those who don’t have all the answers. Wisdom is given to the childlike, especially to those who turn in confidence to their Heavenly Father.

Today’s Psalm reminds us that in turning to God in the distress of our struggles, we taste and see God’s goodness. God frees us from shame, and our mouths are filled with praise and our faces radiant with joy! What a beautiful description of wisdom lived out as a true Christian! This is the joy and glory of the children of God who are ever “singing and playing to the Lord in their hearts,” in praise and gratitude! By coming to us as a little child, Jesus shows us the way. Furthermore, He gives us His grace and invites us to come and receive His whole self to us in the Eucharist. Today, let’s turn to the Lord and become like little children, simple and pure, delighting in the nourishment of our Eucharistic Jesus, the source of all wisdom and life.

How can you turn today and become like little children? What “foolishness” do you need to forsake today in order to receive the gifts of true wisdom?

Mary Catherine Craige is a lover of creativity and learning new things. When she is not guiding the development of young children through Montessori methods, you can find her behind her harp, taking an art class, or writing silly poems. You can find out more about her here.

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