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Series V: Wisdom Literature
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Series V:  Wisdom Literature

The other writings of the Old Testament that take the name "Wisdom Literature" contain some of the most often quoted books of the Bible.  This group of writings includes Psalms, Proverbs, the Book of Job, the Wisdom of Solomon, the Book of Ecclesiastes and finally Ben Sirach or Ecclesiasticus.  Sister has devoted nine weeks to the study of these beautiful texts.  When we pray the psalms we are actually praying the prayers of Israel and the same prayers that our Lord prayed when He lived on earth in the first century.  We must be able to put on the mind of the Jewish Rabbis in order to appreciate the profound wisdom that is found in these texts.  It is here that we learn the importance of humility and the fact that we must prepare ourselves for trial if we wish to serve the Lord (Sirach, chapter 2).  We must also learn the difficult lesson of Job who discovered that the Lord's ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are as different from our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth.  Job did not know why he suffered, but he did not give up hope and lose his faith in the process.  While he patiently bore his sufferings, he also dealt firmly with his friends who were certain that Yahweh had afflicted him because he had sinned or had been unfaithful.  Job was being tested and in the end the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him health and long life in the land.  It is these blessings that meant the most to the Jews of old.

Another Jewish Rabbi and scholar of the law, Saul of Tarsus was dealt with suddenly and forcefully by God as he sought to bring about the downfall of the followers of the Crucified Savior.  His wisdom had not taken into account the fact that God had a mysterious plan to save all people and that the Church was essential to this plan.  In his effort to persecute Christians, Saul was actually attacking the Lord.  "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?"  Saul came to understand that the Church is actually the body of Christ, His presence or extension into the world.  In order for him to learn this he had to be knocked to his sense by God and blinded by the One who is the Light of the World.  After he was baptized, the scales fell from his eyes and he began to have true wisdom and to see all that the Lord had planned for him. 

Sister Marie Therese Wright has devoted the last twenty lessons to the Wisdom writings of the New Testament, the Epistles of the Apostles and the Letter to the Hebrews.  It is these writings that Christians especially find timeless as we are continually confronted with the newness of the Gospel and the importance that we ourselves are not conformed to the world.  We follow Saint Paul in his journeys as he writes to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians and Thessalonians.  We endure the trials with him as he is imprisoned for being an apostle and writes from captivity to the Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians.  We receive his fatherly advice to Timothy as we are told to stir into flames the gift of the Holy Spirit that has been given to us and exhorted to preach the Gospel in season and out of season.  Likewise we are reminded in his letter to Titus that the kindness and love of God our Savior for mankind were revealed not because of any righteous actions that we might have done, but because of His compassion that He saved us!  Therefore we must be uncompromising in teaching all of this so that those who believe might keep their minds constantly occupied in doing good works.

Our five-year study of sacred Scripture concludes with the reading of the epistle to the Hebrews and the other apostolic writings in the New Testament, the epistle of James, as well as first and second Peter.  All of this wisdom contained in the Word of God awaits our study and reflection!

Series V: Wisdom Literature contains 29 complete lessons.


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