For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I did not become Catholic because I was convinced by the arguments of theologians. Apologetics didn’t bring me any closer to Jesus or his Church. Rather, I noticed how my wife was affected by going to Mass. She would go to Mass in a horrible mood and return happy and joyful.
One day I asked her, “What’s the deal?”
The deal, she explained, was that the Mass brought her peace. That was it. No argument. No rebuttal. Just a simple statement: her faith brought her peace.
As foolish as her statement seemed to me at the time, I was inspired and began a long and interesting faith journey. Sometimes people ask me why I became Catholic. My answer: God has a sense of humor.
It may seem like a foolish answer, but it’s God’s foolishness.
Do you proclaim the Gospel with human wisdom or with God’s foolishness?
—Bob Burnham, OFS, a Secular Franciscan and spiritual director, writes and edits for Loyola Press in Chicago
Let me have too deep a sense of humor ever to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.
—Daniel A. Lord, S.J., in Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, ed. Michael Harter, S.J. (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2004)
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