One semester of college I decided to take the risk of Latin. It was one of the hardest classes. There came a point in the semester when the entire class had hit a slump of mediocrity or worse. The professor decided we needed a dinner party to turn the momentum around. He organized with his wife a date to have us all over to feast and regain inspiration. We ended up turning our work around prior to the festivities, and the teacher declared it had become a celebration of our renewal.
I do not recall a lot of specifics from the class. What I do remember is the intimacy and encouragement. My teacher personally and collectively, such as through the house dinner party, challenged me to expect more of myself. He compassionately motivated me to let go of thoughts like, "This is not my major. Why did I take this class? This information is insignificant to what I want to do." Instead he made me trade these thoughts for reflections about making myself the best I could be and living up to the work ethic I aspired for myself. Again, one of the most important inspirations was that I felt I was part of a community taking the same path.
The passage this week is Wisdom calling us to let go of our restrictive thoughts, to admit our yearning for God's fulfillment, and to join the feast of Divine inspiration. The verses read like a festival almost too good to be sacred. There is the choicest meat, fine freshly decanted wine, and a magnificent table setting. The invitation is only to those who are willing to receive and those who want to learn. The extravagant welcome comes to those who acknowledge there is more to do and know. Wisdom requires we let go of our limiting perspectives and accept the abundant feast.
Often we think like I did for the Latin class. We think about all the things "we are not" or all the things we "cannot do". Wisdom calls us to release these degrading and limiting thoughts of knowledge. We are called to embrace an awareness, a profound and even overwhelming blessing, of God's abundant presence. No, we may not be able to cure the diseases of our loved ones. We cannot solve the educational problems of our community or end famine. We can faithfully give love and assurance to others. We can remind them that no matter how hard life is, no matter if there pencil or their patience breaks, they are not alone. Wisdom proclaims God is with us. There is a community who shares the journey and believes there is more to come than today's pain and agony. There is an abundant feast waiting for us all.
Today, let us drop our fears and reasons we are unable. Let us move boldly to accept the boisterous invitation of Wisdom and the promise of our abundant life in God. Let us go together to feast.