Readings for Friday August 27, 2010
Memorial of Saint Monica
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Brothers and sisters: Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.
The message of 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 learning of the learned I will set aside.
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Cor. 1:17-25)
One of my favorite events is the "Strongman Competition." This is truly an awesome event as powerlifters from around the world get together and do crazy events like pull semi-trucks, lift boulders, throw barrels in the air. It is really amazing how strong some of these men are. But, as much as I like the stongman competition, there is one thing that I know, no matter how strong all of these men are, their combined strength is no match for the power of God. For as Saint Paul says, even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. And so it is with all human wisdom and strength, as great as it is on earth, it is nothing compared to the wisdom and strength of God. For as it says in the first reading today; the foolishness of God is greater than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is greater than human strength.
So the challenge for all of us as Christians is to not rely on our own strength or wisdom, but to rely on God for strength and wisdom. One of the ways in which we can rely on God's strength and wisdom is to not buy into the world view. The world view says live life without cares, and only worry about yourself. God says, love everyone and put yourself last. God calls us to something higher, He wants us to reach out goal of heaven, and that can only be accomplished by seeking holiness in our lives and by following His will for us. Now to the world, this seems foolish, and many times others will let us know how foolish it seems, but we must always remind ourselves that God's wisdom is greater.
When we follow the wisdom of the world and rely on our own strength, we will fall flat every time. When we follow the wisdom of God, rely on God's strength and go out with the "message of the cross"; then we reach new heights and take steps towards becoming the men and women that God created us to be.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for the many blessings and gifts in our lives. Help us to always be good stewards of all that you give to us. Lord, you are our God, we are your people, help us to never stray away from your path. Lord, help us to go out with the love and mercy that you pour out on us. Help us to not trust in ourselves, but to trust in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.