The Wisdom of God has mingled wine and spread a table for us




An excerpt from a Commentary on the Book of Proverbs

ORDINARY TIME, Week 6: Wednesday

Wisdom has built herself a house. God the Father’s Power, himself a person, has fashioned as his dwelling-place the whole world in which he lives by his activity, and also man who, created to resemble God’s own image and likeness, has a nature which is partly seen and partly hidden from our eyes.

And she has set up seven pillars. To man who was made in the image of Christ when the rest of creation was completed, Wisdom gave the seven gifts of the Spirit to enable him to believe in Christ and to keep his commandments. By means of these gifts the spiritual man grows and develops until, through firm faith and the supernatural graces he received, he finally reaches maturity. Knowledge stimulates virtue and virtue reflects knowledge. The fear of the Lord, understanding and knowledge gave the true orientation to his natural wisdom. Power makes him eager to seek understanding of the will of God as revealed in the laws by which the entire creation is governed. Counsel distinguishes these most sacred and eternal laws of God from anything opposed to them; for these laws are meant for man to ponder, to proclaim, and to fulfill. Insight disposes man to embrace these expressions of God’s will and to reject whatever contravenes them.

She has mingled her wine in a bowl and spread her table. Because the Word of God has mingled in man, as in a bowl, a spiritual and a physical nature, and has given him a knowledge both of creation and of himself as the Creator, it is natural for the things of God to have on man’s mind the inebriating effect of wine. Christ himself, the bread from heaven, is his nourishment enabling him to grow in virtue, and it is Christ who quenches his thirst and gladdens him with his teaching. For all who desire to share in it, he has prepared this rich banquet, this spiritual feast.

She has sent forth her servants with the sublime message that all are to come to the bowl and drink. Christ has sent forth his apostles, the servants with the sublime message that all are to come to the bowl and drink. Christ has sent forth his apostles, the servants of his divine will, to proclaim the message of the Gospel which, since it is spiritual, transcends both the natural and the written law. By this he calls us to himself in whom as in a bowl there was brought about by the mystery of the incarnation a marvelous mingling of the divine and human natures, although each still remains distinct. And through the apostles he cries out: Is anyone foolish? Let him turn to me. If anyone is so foolish as to think in his heart that there is no God, let him renounce his disbelief and turn to me by faith. Let him know that I am the maker of all things and their Lord.

And to those who lack wisdom he says: Come, eat my bread and drink the wine that I have prepared for you. To those who still lack the works of faith and the higher knowledge which inspires them he says; “Come, eat my body, the bread that is the nourishment of virtue, and drink my blood, the wine that cheers you with the joy of true knowledge and makes you divine. For in a wonderful way I have mingled my divinity with my blood for your salvation.”

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen