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Jesus-Wisdom Person

Our Weekend introduced us to a life of searching for wisdom. Friday, we searched for the wisdom of a life vision. Saturday, we searched for the wisdom of spiritual formation to live the Christian Vision. Sunday, we searched for the wisdom to apply our new life vision to our environments. No matter where we were on our spiritual journey before our Weekend, we left with the realization that we were faced with searching for the wisdom of on-going conversion and spiritual formation.

Likewise, Jesus was a searcher for wisdom. He valued time for prayer to think things out with the light that God put into His heart. Jesus saw through the pretense of the religious leaders, and offered His followers a new way to live—the beatitudes. An independent thinker, Jesus spoke with authority, not like the other religious teachers who always cited various opinions. Mt 7:29. We need Jesus as our model of a person in search for wisdom, because the human tendency is to take this good quality and push it to an extreme, causing us to be ineffective evangelizers.

Human Way. Committed to a life of searching for spiritual wisdom through private study and reflection, we may fall into the trap of aloofness. Seeking wisdom requires much time spent on our study projects which may cause us to begrudge our time with others. We may not really enjoy social events, and when we are in social gatherings, we may be preoccupied with our own thoughts, presenting a cold exterior. We may even be tempted to be cynical about people whom we may see as speaking in platitudes and not engaging in hard logic. When we share our deep thoughts with others, we tend not to be conscious of our audience’s receptivity. We may even feel that we are not appreciated for what we have to say and retreat all the more into our heads where we are comfortable.

Jesus’ Way. Jesus was a thinker who cared. As He grew in wisdom, He realized that any new understanding was the gift of the Holy Spirit and that this gift was meant to be given away in His mission to help others. Jesus acted as a spiritual guide to his disciples, sharing what He had learned from His Father. Jn 15:15. Nor did Jesus begrudge His time for others. ”What pity He felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.” Mt 10:16. Because Jesus was sensitive to people, He knew at what level to pitch His messages and what communications techniques to use. He unfolds gradually his explanation of the commandment to love others, using the parable of the Good Samaritan to expand our concept of our neighbors to anyone who is in need.

Remedies.  First, awareness of being compulsive about our search for spiritual wisdom is important. Look for the sure signs of aloofness from others or begrudging time for others. Not Christlike qualities and destructive of our evangelizing efforts.

Second, we must realize this psychological truth. It is through action, which includes willing, choosing and doing, and interaction with others, that we become ourselves. That is the way we reinforce our life vision and values. We can even be formed through our actions by acting as if we are already the person we want to become; our actions actualize our vision. And it is only through stepping out of our comfort zone and stretching ourselves to do what does not come naturally that we grow.

Third, we must view evangelization as spiritual formation through action. When we evangelize others, we evangelize ourselves most of all. We find more courage to act and to lead. We commit ourselves more deeply to Jesus’ mission. We become more aware of the Spirit’s presence, empowerment and enlightenment. What is abstract becomes alive; what is notional becomes real; and doubt becomes belief. That’s spiritual formation!