We are a week and a half into Advent, and Christmas decorations are up all over, people are wishing one another a Merry Christmas, and it's widely agreed to be the "most wonderful time of the year". But is it? Certainly our anticipation for the coming of Jesus brings us hopeful joy, but is it the most wonderful time of the year?
Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but we should remind ourselves every day that the Wisdom the Spirit offers us is different than the wisdom of this world. The wisdom of this world tells us to be opportunistic, to boast, to take advantage of others, to put ourselves first, to seek power. This "wisdom" is foolishness to God.
As National Bible Week draws to a close, it is important for us to remember that, as Christians, we should always be seeking to encounter God through the Scriptures. As we proclaim and practice the Good News, it is essential to have a solid foundation of what God is telling us through His Word. Daily Scripture reading is a good habit to develop, whether it is the daily Mass readings or a randomly chosen Bible passage.
Every year on Ash Wednesday we hear the same Gospel reading, when Jesus exhorts us to “take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them". As we scratch our heads in confusion, the priest will usually explain in his homily why our wearing of ashes is not what Jesus was talking about (not that it can't be, in some cases).