Love righteousness, you who judge the earth;Wisdom 1:1-7
think of the Lord in goodness,
and seek him in integrity of heart;
Because he is found by those who do not test him,
and manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.
For perverse counsels separate people from God,
and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy;
Because into a soul that plots evil wisdom does not enter,
nor does she dwell in a body under debt of sin.
For the holy spirit of discipline flees deceit
and withdraws from senseless counsels
and is rebuked when unrighteousness occurs.
For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
yet she does not acquit blasphemous lips;
Because God is the witness of the inmost self
and the sure observer of the heart
and the listener to the tongue.
For the spirit of the Lord fills the world,
is all-embracing, and knows whatever is said.
The writer of these lines in the book of Wisdom is fully awake to an all-pervasive spirit listening to his inmost thoughts and the thoughts of human beings. “For perverse thoughts (logismoi) separate from God” (Wisdom 1:3). Wisdom is personified as a holy and disciplined spirit who flees deceit, leaving foolish thoughts behind.
The Psalmist in today’s liturgy is also aware of being encompassed by the spirit of the Lord:
Lord, you have probed me, you know me:Psalm 139:1b-7
you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
You sift through my travels and my rest;
with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
Lord, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
far too lofty for me to reach.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?
How does one obtain the divine wisdom that is more precious than gold or silver (Proverbs 16:16)?
The word righteousness or justice (dikaiosuné) in Wisdom 1:1 also appears in the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,Matthew 5:6
for they will be satisfied.
What do we love, personally and collectively? The answer will lead us to our destination.