This forthcoming Wednesday marks the halfway point between Pascha and the feast of Pentecost. This day is known as ‘Mid-Pentecost,’ commemorating Christ, at twelve years of age, in the temple at the feast of Tabernacles:
‘Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.’ (Jn 7:10-18)
Our Lord Jesus Christ, even at such a young age, thus speaks of being sent by God the Father. On Sunday we were reminded, through the healing of the Paralytic (Jn 5:1-15) that He, as the source of life, can heal all our infirmities, our imperfections of both soul and body. On this feast of Mid-Pentecost we acknowledge Christ as the spring of living water and of Wisdom.
The Orthodox Church places great importance on Christ’s Wisdom, as this particular notion is primarily scriptural: ‘Christ…the wisdom of God.’ (1 Cor 1:24) ‘Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.’ (Lk 2:52) ‘Where did this man get this wisdom?’ (Matt 13:54) Beyond Scripture, our minds are also drawn to the Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, the awe-inspiring structure built (537AD) and dedicated to God’s Wisdom.
Within Christ’s Gospel, in the living example and on the faces of His saints, we truly see great wisdom. No matter our age, our social or worldly standing, we are called to grow in His wisdom, for ‘all the treasures of wisdom…are inside our hearts hidden’ writes St Maximus the Confessor. He Who dwells within us can guide us in His wisdom, through life’s challenges, trials and tests.
As young Christians, in your classrooms and social groups, be a light of wisdom for those around you. Rather than being identified as a voice of discouragement, of hurtfulness or idle talk, let your words illumine the paths of your fellows (Ps 119:105) ‘for the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.’ (Prov 2:6)
Last week the Church commemorated St Sophia of Kleisoura (1883-1974) an ascetic lady of Northern Greece. Let us contemplate some of her advice, given through Christ’s wisdom:
‘The fear of God makes the human being wise. What is the fear of God? Not the fear of God as such, but the fear of upsetting your fellow, of hurting them, of treating them unjustly or with accusation. This is wisdom…’
Christ is Risen beloved friends. May our words, actions and intentions be guided by His Wisdom.