A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, August 27, 2004

Don't be clueless

Today’s Gospel underscores the need for us to prepare in this world for the world to come and how not everyone is focused on those preparations (and may be tragically surprised as a result). These unprepared people are called foolish.

Ironically, as St. Paul tells us in today’s first reading, these people who are foolish and unprepared for the world to come often include those who are considered the smartest people in the world in which we live.

St. Paul boils it all down to one thing: the message of the cross.

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.

The recent film The Passion of the Christ demonstrated anew the truth of Paul’s statement. It was denounced as Anti-Semitic: very much a stumbling block to the Jews. Also, the elites of today’s world denounced it for what they saw as a glorification of suffering (an absurdity and a perversion in their eyes) as well as a product of dangerous religious extremism. At least one reviewer associated believers in Christ’s passion with those who fly airplanes into skyscrapers (the review was later pulled from its website).

[The “religion is evil” canard is a tired one. Ungodly ideologues are the ones who have perpetrated the greatest slaughters and sufferings of the world: from Shi Huangdi to Hitler, Mengele, Stalin and Pol Pot. To be sure, religion has been misused by evil or misguided people, but the power of faith to bring good into the world has always been greater.]

People who reject the gift of faith think themselves intelligent, and they may have some form of practical ingenuity or mental sophistication, but when it comes to the big picture, they are literally clueless.

People with the gift of Christian faith understand what the suffering and death of Christ is: it is not suffering for its own sake; it is an act of the deepest love, the most powerful compassion, the most perfect answer to the evil and suffering in the world.

Cherish the gift. Spread the wisdom.