…for the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
I Cor. 1:25
Third Sunday of Lent – I Corinthians 1
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength – I Cor 1:25.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
The paradox of the Cross is central to our lives as Christians. Salvation was earned through suffering; through “carrying the cross.” Victory over death was earned through the most barbaric treatment, humiliation, and ultimate execution. Understood in basic human terms, the crucifixion would be something one would typically try to downplay or hide. Why would anyone want to advertise someone suffering – a crucified King? To the contrary though, we do not hide the Cross. Rather, we proudly display it as a sign of our hope and faith; a sign of ultimate victory and our coming resurrection with our Lord.
While many of us hang a crucifix in our home or even wear one around our neck, oftentimes to remind us that we have been saved through God’s grace and mercy, we must also reflect upon His suffering. By doing so, we will reflect upon and understand our own sufferings; why we too are called to bear our own crosses in this life. Ultimately the Cross is a sign, a reminder, that God will save us in spite of our shortcomings. He knew what it was like to be human after all, and He paid the price once and for all.
After the cleansing of the temple in today’s Gospel, the story ends by reminding us that Jesus “did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He Himself understood it well” (Jn 2:25). We are blessed with the loving humility of a God willing to be born in a dirty manger to an impoverished teenage girl, willing to live a life of poverty, die in shame and pain, and entrust His divine mission on earth to a group of lowly fishermen. Godly wisdom is oftentimes disguised as “foolishness”; strength disguised as weakness; and salvation disguised as death on a Cross.
Third Sunday of Lent Meditation
This week, notice the Crosses hanging around you. They are everywhere – even in the most unlikely of places and woven into the fabric of our daily lives, communities and persona. When we mark ourselves with the Cross, the sign of the Christian faith, no matter how we do it we are marking ourselves as one of Jesus’ tribe, as a disciple who may not always get it right but continues to persevere in the saving grace of our Lord. It is Christians who trust in the Cross of Christ crucified; the suffering servant of the Father Almighty.
When you see a Cross today, ask yourself what it is saying to you. What does it remind you of? If you are wearing one around your neck or displaying one in your home, how often do you prayerfully contemplate its meaning? Do you faithfully live out its message? Short contemplations like this in front of a Crucifix will cause your soul to flourish.
Provident Father, thank You for sending Your Son to purify us of our sins. Even when we are frustrated, please give us the grace to accept His work within us with a spirit of gratitude. God of all faithfulness, we vow to trust in Your wisdom even when we do not understand, even when the world thinks we are fools for believing in a crucified King. We believe, we trust, and we love you forever and ever, amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Make plans to volunteer somewhere in your community that is dedicated to helping the poor. Follow through on the commitment.
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them. Every day begin the task anew” –St. Francis de Sales.