December 17 has long marked the beginning of the “Great O” antiphons that have been used in the Vespers service, perhaps as early as the seventh century. Wisdom is the subject of the first antiphon.
O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth
Of the Most high, pervading and
Permeating all creation, mightily
Ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.
Wisdom is the gift of wise practical living in uprightness, justice and fairness. In wisdom, God created the world, “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens (Proverbs 3:19-20).” For us, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Only “fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prv. 1:7).”
Jesus, the son of God, was acquainted with wisdom and as he grew into human flesh, Luke tells us, “He became strong, filled with wisdom (Luke 2:40).” Therefore, it ought not to surprise us that God would create our salvation with wisdom also. He used wisdom which confounded human wisdom. He sent his Son to be crucified for us and for our salvation. He did this so that no one could boast in God’s presence that he did it himself. We are left with no other alternative but to point to the cross and say, “God did it for us all.”