First Reading: Sirach 51:12-20
For thou didst save me from destruction and rescue me from an evil plight. Therefore I will give thanks to thee and praise thee, and I will bless the name of the Lord. While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. Before the temple I asked for her, and I will search for her to the last. From blossom to ripening grape my heart delighted in her; my foot entered upon the straight path; from my youth I followed her steps. I inclined my ear a little and received her, and I found for myself much instruction. I made progress therein; to him who gives wisdom I will give glory. For I resolved to live according to wisdom, and I was zealous for the good; and I shall never be put to shame. My soul grappled with wisdom, and in my conduct I was strict; I spread out my hands to the heavens, and lamented my ignorance of her. I directed my soul to her, and through purification I found her. I gained understanding with her from the first, therefore I will not be forsaken.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8-11
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Gospel: Mark 11:27-33
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? Answer me.” And they argued with one another, “If we say, `From heaven,’ he will say, `Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, `From men’?” — they were afraid of the people, for all held that John was a real prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
What a gift we have in today’s Scripture, this beautiful invitation from Sirach to remember how God’s Wisdom has been our loving companion all along our journey.
While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. Before the temple I asked for her, and I will search for her to the last.
Do you remember when it felt like to pray when you were younger? Full of hope, heading into an future ripe with promise.
Maybe you prayed about school or friends or boys. Maybe you prayed about college or majors or boyfriends or jobs. Maybe you prayed about grad school or marriage or babies or moves. Maybe you have prayed since childhood or maybe you came to faith as a young person or maybe you are just starting to figure out what it means to seek God.
But no matter what, God’s Wisdom has been your companion from the beginning.
From blossom to ripening grape my heart delighted in her. My foot entered upon the straight path; from my youth I followed her steps.
Here we are now in spring: buds bursting into bloom after winter’s cold, opening themselves to the world. Here we are today: each of us on our way towards wisdom, growing and blossoming each day as we open ourselves to God’s ways.
Wisdom offers us women such beautiful feminine imagery for the life of faith. She invites us to pause and consider what we pray for today. What we seek and what we gain when we trust the God of Wisdom with each step we take.
I inclined my ear a little and received her, and I found for myself much instruction. I made progress therein; to him who gives wisdom I will give glory.
You are making progress on this long journey of faith, dear sister. So am I.
We do not always praise ourselves for progress made; we cannot always glimpse the long view; we do not always understand how good can come from present darkness. But when we bend our ears towards God, we discover wisdom. We strengthen our hearts for hard work, and we dig deeper to give more.
I directed my soul to her, and through purification I found her. I gained understanding with her from the first, therefore I will not be forsaken.
Take a moment today to celebrate how you have grown in faith. Remember how God’s Wisdom has revealed holy truth in your life. Ask for the grace to grow into the woman God has created you to be.
Laura Kelly Fanucci is a mother, writer, and theological researcher. She and her husband are raising three little boys in the suburban wilds of Minnesota. You can find out more about her here.