Women, Wine and Wisdom, I’m all in! After all, who couldn’t use an afternoon or evening filled with female companionship, wine and a little wisdom. I’m inviting all you ladies out there to join me, and the women of WINE (women in the new evangelization), for a lunch or dinner on Tuesday, June 13th in Mandeville at the Fleur De Lis Center or Impastato Cellars, OR Wednesday, June 14th in Metairie at Andreas. (Hint to all the men and children out there, this event would make an awesome mother’s day gift!). The invitation and registration form can be found below. Please feel free to share this info. Learn more by visiting the WINE website womeninthenewevangelization.com or on-line event registration at wine-event-louisiana-june-2017.eventbrite.com. Hope to see you, and your friends, at one of our events.
Today’s blog question: What’s in a name? Why women, wine and wisdom? What do all these words have in common, other than the obvious “w”? What comes to mind is “life changing gifts”. Please join me, as we unpack the beauty and transformative powers of each.
THE EVENT. Created to Relate. God’s Design for Peace and Joy.
THE FIRST GIFT: Women.
The most distinctive thing about each of us, and the entire human race, is that we are created in the image and likeness of God. “God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them,” (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, while there are differences between the sexes, we find their commonality here. Both are equals, created as rational and emotional beings, with equal rights to choose and impact the world around them. Likewise, each are “hard-wired” for relationship, for God is trinitarian (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
Man’s aloneness was the first thing in Creation that was not good, for humankind was not created for isolation. God saw that “it was not good that the man should be alone,” (Genesis 2:18). Woman, therefore, completes God’s plan for humanity. As a helper, woman assists mankind in reaching their complete fulfillment. The word helper, or advocate, is also utilized in the Gospel of John, “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you,” (John 14:26). As the Holy Spirit helps the believer, so too, does woman help man and humankind. Transformed by Christ, women are called to become a reflection of Him and a vehicle of healing, love and mercy for the world.
THE SECOND GIFT: Wine.
As Catholics, we profess our faithful acceptance of the transubstantiation, which indicates the changing of the sacramental bread and wine into the very body and blood of Jesus during the celebration of the Mass. Although the outward appearance remains the same, the substance itself is mysteriously transformed into spiritual food for the body and soul of believers. Sacramental wine differs from commercial wine in that it must be free from corruption. Its grapes must come from the vine and be naturally fermented. The wine itself, must be free of preservatives, added flavors, or the vinegars of sour wine.
Outside of the Mass, we find many Bible passages describing wine as a blessing or gift from God. “Your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine,” (Proverbs 3:9-10). “You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart,” (Psalm 104:14-15). The prophet, Jeremiah, speaks of many blessings in the age to come, including wine, “they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil,” (Jeremiah 31:12). Jesus, Himself, while here on earth, enjoyed wine and table fellowship. Therefore, enjoy a glass or two, always in moderation, and remember the divine gift and transformative powered offered through it during the Mass.
THE THIRD GIFT: Wisdom.
“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever,” (Psalm 111:10). The Greek word for wisdom, sophia, refers to the intimate understanding of God’s words, and commandments, which lead to holy and upright living. Throughout the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is referred to as, she. In Proverbs 9:5, we read, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” In Isaiah 11:2-3, we learn that wisdom, or fear of the Lord, is a gift bestowed upon the righteous through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus, we all receive the gifts of the Spirit including wisdom, understanding, faith, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Additionally, “the Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way,” (1Corinthians 12). Included, are the gifts of faith and prophesy, the ability to heal, discern spirits, and speak in tongues. To partake in their full benefit, however, each must find their expression in love, and transform the hearts and lives of their recipient, for a gift must be freely opened and graciously received.
Closing Prayer: In honor of the many women and mothers who represent an invaluable gift to the world, I offer the following prayer (taken from the latest edition of the Catholic Register). Dear Mary, our spiritual mother, I come to you today and ask you to intercede on behalf of all our mothers. Ask your Divine Son, Jesus, to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they can join with you in giving their own “fiat”. May they find daily strength to say, “Yes” to the call to sacrificial love, the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son. Amen
Happy Mother’s Day from Karen Sheehy, your spiritual safari guide.
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