Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our first reading today comes from the book of Wisdom and provides us an important insight into the value of true wisdom. The author regards the attainment of wisdom as something beyond power and riches. Such a reading may fall on deaf years today, and many may think the offers of scepter, throne, and monetary riches would hold a far greater allure than wisdom. After all, how many college graduates are working at fast food stores….
The reading answers critics of those who choose wisdom by saying that there are riches to be had for those who follow in Wisdom’s path. Within the wisdom tradition of the scriptures stands the singular idea that true wisdom comes from the ability to choose those things that move us towards God. St. Ignatius of Loyola stands firmly in this tradition with his “First Principle and Foundation” of the Spiritual Exercises which notes the goal of human existence as union with God and that true wisdom comes in seeking those things that will move us towards God.
This relationship between the end of human existence (union with God) and the means to attain that end by means of a careful examination of the material world and the world of human relations is articulated in an important document from the Second Vatican Council Gravissimum Educationis, a document promulgated 50 years ago this month on October 28, 1965. This document recalls the goal of all humanity and the obligation of all humanity to help others to attain union with God.
Since all Christians have become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature so that they should be called and should be children of God, they have a right to a Christian education. A Christian education does not merely strive for the maturing of a human person, but has as its principal purpose this goal: that the baptized, while they are gradually introduced the knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23) especially in liturgical action, and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24); also that they develop into perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:13) and strive for the growth of the Mystical Body; moreover, that aware of their calling, they learn not only how to bear witness to the hope that is in them (cf. Peter 3:15) but also how to help in the Christian formation of the world that takes place when natural powers viewed in the full consideration of man redeemed by Christ contribute to the good of the whole society. Wherefore this sacred synod recalls to pastors of souls their most serious obligation to see to it that all the faithful, but especially the youth who are the hope of the Church, enjoy this Christian education.
The entire document recalls the obligation of parents and the Catholic community to assist in educating its members so that these same members may be both active and skilled in building up the Body of Christ. This brief document can be easily read and serves as a reminder of our obligation to promote wisdom by promoting a sound Catholic Education.
Graviissimum Educationis may be located at the Vatican Website at this address: