Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Signs and Wisdom

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.'

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength. -- 1 Corinthians 1:18:25

As we enter into the Triduum, I thought that the above lection from about 3 weeks ago was particularly appropriate. Too often moderns of whatever denominational persuasion tend to fall into the same trap that our ancient brothers and sisters did in Corinth. Some desperately have to know, by proof or reason of some sort, that Jesus is Lord; that what we believe is in fact true in the factual since of enlightenment thought. But as Paul pointed out to the new believers in Corinth, we do not proclaim either signs or wisdom. What makes being a Christian difficult is that we proclaim that which almost everybody else calls foolishness (at best). We have heard it and seen it in other people when they find out we are "religious". And it's not just non-believers either. Even our own want signs (or wisdom). A good example is the plethora of "educational" shows about the "real" Jesus, or the historical Jesus. Just a couple of days ago, 2 channels were showing programs about the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.

But this is not our way or our path. We walk the path of Jesus which is one of love and sacrifice; even with the understanding that the only authenticity of our faith is that of grace from the Holy Spirit and the witness of the saints throughout history. It's good to keep in mind during the Triduum that for all our lives the only proof or signs we will likely ever get is the grace that comes through faith that Jesus is Lord.

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