Paul on Paul – 7th March 2021

3rd Sunday in Lent; Year B
1 Corinthians 1: 22-25

And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

St. Paul is such a strange writer. At times his writing it verging on poetic, bursting with imagry. Other times, such as in this week’s reading, I think he has such a wonderful way of cutting through the nonsense.

From an outsider’s position, Christianity is weird. We will all have moments we can remember when someone we love – be they friends, family members, children, parents, colleagues, or even spouse – points this out to us. Personally, I remember when I was in school, my friends found is incredibly weird that I would go to Mass before School or during lunch. They are like the Jews – who demand that God demonstrate His existance in a Sign – or the Greeks – who decide that if they cannot through science detect and understand and know God, he cannot exist.

But, as Catholic Christians, we know that our Faith rests, yes, partly on our reason, and partly through the signs God has given – but also on our trust in God. And God, who gave us the gift of faith in the first place, provides us his strength and wisdom to, if we choose to, embrace this to the fullest. In this week’s 2nd Reading, highlights the most visible and obvious instance of these gifts of God, “a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God”.

But we must not forget that God didn’t give once and then leave us be. Throughout the entire Bible we see God constantly giving to his people – life, safety, family, liberty, food, rules, a homeland, a King, and ultimately himself. For those who demand signs and reason, they are there for the finding. And this does not stop at the end of the Book of Revalation – but continutes, in a very real way in the life of each and every Catholic today.

Returning to our theme this lent of The Sacraments, in Confirmation we recieve the Holy Spirit – the Third person of the Trinity – and, with Him, it’s gifts to strengthen our faith: wisdom and understanding; right judgment and courage; knowledge and reverence; and Holy Fear (or Wonder and Awe) in God’s presence.

And to think if God’s power and wisdom are infitely above that of humans – and we east have within us a share in, not just His power and strength, but his courage, his understanding and his judgment – then, if we use them properly and meanigfully, we can overcome the obstacles and madness, not just in our earthly life – but in our life of Faith also.

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