Let’s continue our look at the first chapter of the book of Wisdom as a Reconciliation reading. You readers know I’m not a fan of a long reading for its own sake. Short and to the point is most often best. For form I (reconciliation with an individual penitent) there are enough cultural obstacles against the regular use of Scripture.
This middle section is part of a longer passage (verses 1-16) found in the Rite at number 111. I think the other parts (verses 1-5 or verses 12 to 16) work better as a shorter reading. But let’s have a look at these verses:
For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
yet she acquits not the blasphemer of (their) guilty lips;
Because God is the witness of (the) inmost self
and the sure observer of (the) heart
and the listener to (the) tongue.
For the spirit of the Lord fills the world,
is all-embracing, and knows what (we say).
Therefore no one who utters wicked things can go unnoticed,
nor will chastising condemnation pass (them) by.
For the devices of the wicked … shall be scrutinized,
and the sound of (their) words shall reach the Lord,
for the chastisement of (their) transgressions;
Because a jealous ear hearkens to everything,
and discordant grumblings are no secret.
Therefore guard against profitless grumbling,
and from calumny withhold your tongues;
For a stealthy utterance does not go unpunished,
and a lying mouth slays the soul.
Penitents are encouraged to look deep. God also looks deep. It’s a journey we can make together with the Almighty. Teamwork. Companionship. Closer union with the Divine. Things that drive us deeper into holiness.