It is the hope of every good parent that their children will marry well. They hope and pray that their children will find a suitable partner for life who will truly help them to live a happy and productive life. When seeking a life partner for marriage there are certainly risks that are involved. One could choose poorly and suffer a life of struggle, difficulty and regret. One of the keys to reducing that risk is to choose wisely according to appropriate criteria that will make for a lifelong relationship. Our reading from the Book of Wisdom warns us that, “Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting.” If we judge a potential partner solely based on looks and appearances we may soon discover that those appealing characteristics are masking a very self-centered personality who will seek only their own gains. Better to choose someone who we can work with and who will make us a better person and enrich our lives, someone who will help us to build a home filled with love and good order, someone who we can truly share our lives with and who will help us to discover our deepest truths, fulfill our deepest desires and realize the highest good in our lives. With this life partner we can discover a lasting and eternal beauty, a beauty that transcends appearances and momentary pleasures, a beauty that manifests itself in a beautiful life. With this partner for life we can truly say that, “Life is beautiful!” There is a life partner like this for every person. God has created this companion for life who will be as a shining light to us as we grow into the person that God has intended us to be.
Our reading from the book of Wisdom describes this ideal partner for life. Now we may be a little cynical and bruised by life and love’s experiences in our life and refuse to believe that such an ideal partner really exists. However, we have to realize that the Book of Wisdom has been proposing to us and describing the loveliness of Lady Wisdom to us throughout this book. The worthy wife that is described at the end of this book is Lady Wisdom herself. For a full and fruitful life we must pursue Wisdom as a lover pursues the beloved. We must wed ourselves to Wisdom and truly make her a part of our life. If we form this eternal bond with Wisdom then she will serve us all the days of our lives. She is the “unfailing prize,” the one who “will bring us good, and not evil, all the days of her life,” the one who will help us to be productive in our work and to share our blessings with the poor in charity. As the Book of Wisdom counseled us earlier, “The beginning of Wisdom is the fear of the Lord,” and so certainly her fear of the Lord is to be praised. Wisdom makes herself available to all of us as a gift from God. There are other pursuits in the world that will allure us with their charm and beauty but these things are deceptive and fleeting. They are not truly worthy of us as human beings for they do not exalt our human dignity. If we spend our lives pursuing vain glory and wed ourselves to the world’s values and pleasures then we have married beneath ourselves and we will eventually be betrayed by these wanton mistresses.
Now I hope that I have not shattered the dreams of those who are hopeless romantics. Wisdom teaches us to go beyond the fleeting romances of the world and to pursue a true and lasting love in God. Wisdom is our true “soul mate” and she will help us to make good choices in all areas of our life, even in marriage. It is Wisdom that is a suitable life partner even for vowed celibates. It is Wisdom that will help us to live as “children of the light and children of the day” as St. Paul encourages us. This eternal Wisdom has been revealed to us in the Word made flesh. Jesus is the incarnation of Wisdom and he has wed himself to our human nature in the incarnation. The love of Jesus is faithful and eternal and he has not left us alone but has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit as our eternal lover and life partner to help us to discern the way of Lady Wisdom all the days of our life. With Lady Wisdom, the Spirit of Jesus the Word, we may live in the truth always and know true freedom.
Science, politics, economics and other worldly suitors may all seem to be alluring mistresses but they will not provide us with the true peace and fullness of life that we most deeply desire. Their charm is deceptive and their beauty fleeting, only in Jesus will we find true Beauty, ever ancient, ever new, that will lead us to a truly beautiful life!