BRIDGEPORT— We have more information at our fingertips than ever before in human history, but it often feels like we are moving backyard, said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano during Mass for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
“In age in which we have so much information and ability to know, why do we have so many problems? why are we so challenged? why does it seem that we’re not making progress but moving backward?”
In his weekly online Mass from the Catholic Center, the Bishop said the answer to his questions is found in the first reading of the day ( 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12) when Solomon asks God for the gift of wisdom, “So God said to him: “Because you have asked for this not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right.”
The Bishop said that something is missing from a life that is filled with information but lacks understanding of the heart,” or what we also call “the gift of wisdom, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
“This is day we need to reflect on its importance in your and life and mine so we can find a way forward to address challenges that information alone can’t.”
Bishop Caggiano began his homily by noting that he’ll never forget the day he walked into the huge lobby of a New York City skyscraper to begin his first job at the age of 23 in an information technology corporation.
Three words, “Knowledge is power,” were etched in granite, the bishop said, noting that education is built on passing on knowledge and information. However, as believers, we also know it is important to ground that in wisdom and compassion.
“Wisdom is the graced gift to live life well. For example, to use knowledge not in the pursuit of personal aggrandizement or power, but in the service of people.”
In particular for believers, wisdom is found by “seeking to live in the heart of Jesus Christ… and in searching God’s inspiration for what we cannot do on our own,” he said. “You and I are given the gift in the Holy Spirit. What’s lacking is the willingness to engage the gift and develop it in your life and mine.”
The Bishop said true wisdom includes a compassion that comes from the heart “that does not see my neighbor as a problem to be solved, but as a brother or sister we can accompany when we don’t have any other answers.”
“Our duty is not just to glide through life, but to live it well in Jesus Christ, and wisdom allows us to do that one day at a time.”
The bishop said we can easily be discouraged by the many problems and challenges before us and that pursuit of knowledge alone will not be the answer.
“It is a wise and understanding life that will help us to move forward in faith. The question I ask you is the same one I ask myself, ‘Am I ready to seek it?’”
Before giving the final blessing, Bishop Caggiano remembered all those who are suffering and frightened in the pandemic and in need of our solidarity prayers and support. “I ask that we pray together for the creation of an effective vaccine and therapeutics and that it may be eradicated from our midst. We do so with hope and confidence in mercy of Christ and his love for us.”