Sophia

“Sophia”
A reflection on Wisdom 7:22b—8:1
Thursday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time (Year I)
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Wisdom 7:22b-8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Never harmful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.

For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is a breath of the might of God
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled can enter into her. 
For she is the reflection of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness. 
Although she is one, she can do all things,
and she renews everything while herself perduring;
Passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For God loves nothing so much as the one who dwells with Wisdom. 
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she is found more radiant; 
though night supplants light,
wickedness does not prevail over Wisdom.

Indeed, she spans the world from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.


The personification of Sophia (Wisdom) as a Woman finds its roots in the Hebrew tradition (Proverbs 8; Sirach 24), but also draws on the cultural vocabulary of Hellenistic philosophy and the cult of the Egyptian goddess Isis. The description of Wisdom as distinct from God, yet emanating from him, finds kinship with the Logos who was “in the beginning with God.” Paul identifies Christ as the “wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30).1

Sophia is also recalled in titles honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Litany of Loreto: “Seat of Wisdom, ” “Mirror of Justice,” “Mother of Mercy,” “Mother most pure,” “Virgin most venerable,” etc. 

In a broken world of “tax collectors and sinners,” Sophia is “vindicated by all her children” (Luke 7:34). Out of the raw material of fallen human nature, she “produces friends of God and prophets.”

The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Luke 7:34

The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

Matthew 11:19

Reference

1 New American Bible (Revised Edition), Reading Guide 280. 

2 Replies to “Sophia”

  1. Mobile Wisdom enters the fabric of my being.
    She is the Divine door through to God’s grace.
    May I reach deep into the heart of my life.
    May I welcome Wisdom to be my pace.
    There are hills and valleys I will walk,
    Keeping my ears open for Wisdom’s talk.

  2. Dear GMC, Thank you for your reflection. Your words of Wisdom help us to discern God’s will and God’s Word in our life. You remind me of what a priest once told me: Before reading the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to grant you the spirit of wisdom and revelation that you may spiritually discern the truth found in its pages.

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