Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Isaiah 48:17-19 + Matthew 11:16-19
“But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
There are many points that one might conclude from Jesus’ enigmatic statement that “wisdom is vindicated by her works.” Consider one point about wisdom, and another about wisdom’s works.
Wisdom can be considered from the perspective of God’s own nature, or in terms of what God freely chooses to do in salvation history. In the Catholic tradition, this consideration would be referred to in terms of the “immanent Trinity” and the “economic Trinity”.
What Jesus declares in today’s Gospel Reading ought to be considered in terms of God’s work of salvation history: creation, redemption, and sanctification. This is especially so in terms of wisdom being “vindicated”. The masterpiece of Saint Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, explores the vagaries of salvation history, which often seems to hold more troughs than peaks; more sin than grace; and more sinners than saints.
When it comes to salvation history, God certainly plays a “long game”. This ought to comfort those of us who waste so many years of our lives following our own interests rather than God’s. Saint Augustine explored this sad dynamic in his own life in another of his masterpieces, The Confessions. Fortunately for each of us, God loves us more than we love ourselves, and in Jesus is willing to make our sins His own so that His wisdom might prevail over our folly.
The Conversion of St. Augustine of Hippo by Fra Angelico