“Wisdom” begins to speak aloud in Proverbs 1:20- “Wisdom calls aloud!” What or Who is this Wisdom? One of the greatest Churches ever built was Hagia Sophia in what was then Constantinople. The name in English is Holy Wisdom. This name is not about “what” is wisdom but truly about “Who” is Wisdom. The Church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos or Word, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity! The Feast Day for Hagia Sophia is December 25th, the Holy Nativity of our Lord…indeed, the Incarnation!
The Church Fathers often applied the title “Wisdom” to Christ Himself. St. Paul wrote: “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the Wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). We know that Jesus is the Word of God (John 1) and it is also true to say He is the Wisdom of God.
Remember when the Risen Lord met the two men on the road to Emmaus. We are told that He “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:29). “All the Scriptures” would certainly include the Book of Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs was written “to know Wisdom” (Proverbs 1:2) and that may indeed be the most important goal we could set for this Great Lent: to know the Lord (Wisdom) better.
In Chapter 24 of the Wisdom of Sirach (part of the original Old Testament as found in the Septuagint), Wisdom speaks. Listen to these wonderful words from Wisdom: “Come to me, you who desire me, and take your fill of my fruits, for the remembrance of me is sweeter than honey…those who eat me will hunger for more and those who drink me will thirst for more. He who obeys me will not be put to shame” (Sirach 24:19-22; Page 945 in the Orthodox Study Bible). Eating and drinking Wisdom (Christ): Can you see how, in Holy Communion, we eat His Body and Drink His Blood and then long for more? Every Divine Liturgy we long for more of Christ! This is why the Bishops encourage frequent Communion!
In these first few days of Great Lent, let us set our hearts on knowing Wisdom (the Lord) better than we ever have known Him. Another great chapter on Wisdom is found in Baruch 3 (Also part of the original Old Testament and found on page 1168 in the Orthodox Study Bible). The section on Wisdom begins in verse 9 with these words: “Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life; give ear to know Wisdom.”
As we read the Book of Proverbs this Great Lent, may we listen carefully to what “Wisdom” has to say. When Wisdom speaks…Christ speaks to us. The very end of Chapter 1 has these words from Wisdom to us: “But he who obeys me (Wisdom) shall dwell in hope, and shall be at rest without fear from every evil.” Let us embrace and obey the Lord Jesus Christ Who is Wisdom!