January 2, Year B

Inspired by James 3:13-18

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.” James 3:17 (NRSV)

To read the news today, one might believe that one must choose between religion and science, that religious faith and the pursuit of knowledge are inherently contradictory and incompatible.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Lord has graced us with intelligence and curiosity, and striving to better understand the properties and mechanics of ourselves and the world around us is in no way a challenge to the One who created us. However, how we use that knowledge defines whether we are seeking wisdom or self-aggrandizement. Knowledge that doesn’t recognize its limits, or that is used to cause harm, is contrary to God’s purposes. Wisdom, however, acknowledges its limits and uses knowledge to improve the human condition and provide for better stewardship of the world. Wisdom—the proper use and understanding of knowledge—is itself a gift from God.

Let us pray. Knowing God, you have graced us with a curious and discerning mind. Grant us the humility to recognize the limits of our knowledge and what it can do, that we may live faithful lives seeking understanding of your will. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.