My Dear Sisters and Brothers! The Book of Wisdom was written down among the Jews who lived away from their homeland. They found themselves in the environment which was not only different to Judea and Galilee but was also challenging their beliefs. The Greek culture was known for its philosophical development but also for the religious concepts varying from the Jewish monotheism and the sense of being chosen by God. On daily basis those Jewish migrants were bombarded by arguments that a god is a tyrant who needs to be appeased by offerings or that a god doesn’t care about what happens on the earth. In such a challenging environment the Book of Wisdom was conceived. We could say that God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sent his Holy Spirit to the community of his sons and daughters living abroad so that they could be enlightened in their specific circumstance to be the yeast to leaven the society. The origins of the Book of Wisdom correspond with the parables we heard in the Gospel.
Unfortunately the Book of Wisdom is not a favourite piece of the Scriptures for Christians to read. Probably because it doesn’t have some lovely stories which could capture our imagination. However I would like to invite you to read and meditate it. In the twenty first century we should rediscover this Book as a gift of our first sisters and brothers in Christian faith who welcomed it as inspired by the Holy Spirit and as such passed on to the next generation.
Our society poses different challenges as it isn’t as religious as was the Greek society in Alexandria. However our society, which is so obsessed with secularity, is also in need of encountering the living God as much as was the society of Alexandria. In our secular environment we are called to treasure that “the Spirit comes to help us in our weaknesses” so that we could be a courageous community which is able to see the “kingdom of heaven” growing “like a mustard seed,” to see the signs of “the kingdom of heaven” “leavening” the society like “the yeast.” We are called to be the community which doesn’t get discouraged by the scandal of sin evident in individuals, in our faith communities and in the society but glorifies God who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” The Scriptures call Jesus Christ the Rising Sun. The prophets also promised him as rain: “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up and let it cause the righteousness to sprout up also.” Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life, lives in our midst. He lives in our Church so that our Church could be an icon of God and a taste of the kingdom of heaven.
My Dear Fellow Christians! Alexandria was judged by the Jews as unworthy of being the place where God’s voice could resound. Don’t apply that misjudgement to the place where you find yourselves living. God comes to those who are in need of his grace, peace and love. I have no doubts that this place of ours qualifies for that.