28th Sunday Ordinary Time - Year B
Wisdom As A Woman
Greek philosophy is logical and idealistic. Middle Eastern philosophy, by contrast, is a very practical study. It is concerned with the proper way to live, based on faith in God and getting along with neighbors. Hebrew writers spoke about this kind of wisdom, as if it were a person, a woman. Part of this may be that mothers were the first teachers of their children in such useful material. The Church saw it as a prophetic description for the Holy Spirit. Both the Hebrew "Ruah" and the Greek "Sophia" refer to wisdom and are feminine in gender. Of course, God is neither male nor female, but we use gender terms for human convenience.
Wealth As An Obstacle To Heaven
Prior to the second century before Christ, there was no wide-spread belief in an afterlife among the Jewish people. They did believe that God rewarded the good and punished the wicked. They thought that such things were done on earth. Hence, if you were healthy, wealthy and beautiful, you were considered to be blessed by God.
Jesus states that riches can hinder entry into God's Kingdom. The apostles are astounded because this runs contrary to their orthodox belief. Christ teaches that materialism can blind people to the virtues of love necessary for salvation. Basically, he says that no one can BUY heaven.
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