February 23, 2024

Wisdom and vigilance cannot be separated. To be vigilant is to be wise.
Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care. (Wisdom 6: 12-16)
Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit we received in the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Pentecost event speaks well about the gifts of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Our life founded on these spiritual gifts will make our faith stronger and more reasonable. As Blaise Paschal will say it, “The heart has reason that reason itself cannot understand.”
St. Paul writes to the Thessalonians (Thessalonians 4:13-18), “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
Jesus told His disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven will be like the ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.” The parable discussed the importance of being wise by staying awake and not by taking life for granted. “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
In wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent, kindly, firm secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all seeing, pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure, and very subtle. For wisdom is mobile beyond all motion, and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity. Wickedness prevails not Wisdom. (Wisdom 7:22-8:1)
Advent is rightly and directly teaching us to be wise by being vigilant. Vigilance means being ready at all times, being watchful, and staying awake.
A wiseman is someone who will always declare, “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.” (Psalm 63:2) Our thirst for God is indeed a sustaining element for our spirit to constantly renew itself and when we are renewed by God, we will always be ready. We will always be vigilant.
“O God, you are my God who I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless, and without water. (Psalm 63: 2)
I wish to highlight a bit these Iloko words, “sirib” and “switik” or “sikap.”
Sirib is not synonymous with switik and sikap.
Sirib is wisdom while switik and sikap is deception and cunning.
“Wow! Kitaen yu kadi dyay nga politician adun ti nakurakot na ngem haan nga mataktakwatan! Nasirib iman!” In English, “Wow! Look at that politician. He had been corrupting and yet he was never caught. He is wise!”
Analyze the sentence. The word sirib and wise were used wrongly.
It should be, “Wow! Kitaen u kadi dyay nga politician adun ti nakurakot na ngem haan nga mataktakwatan! Naswitik ken nasikap iman!”
In English, “Wow! Look at that politician. He had been corrupting and yet he was never caught. He is deceitful and cunning!”
Wisdom belongs to God. Cunning, trickery, and deception are ways of the devil. Let us make these words clear as not to confuse also our earthly ways and our ways of life that do not conform with the will and ways of God.
Vigilance is a face and incarnation of wisdom. Vigilance has its root word from vigil. Vigil can mean a noun to denote a wake or moment to watch and to pray. Be vigilant means stay awake, be ready, be watchful.
Vigilance must not be misinterpreted. When literal interpretation comes in, it can be do not sleep therefore at night or do not rest.
Sleep can mean three things here. Sleep can denote a healthy rest. It can also mean laziness. It can mean death.
Everyday is a choice. It is a choice to be wise or to be foolish, to be ready or to be slack. Choose to be wise!

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