The height of folly

by | Mar 31, 2015 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistEaster Sunday (B), April 5, 2015 – Acts 10, 34a. 37-43; Col 3, 1-4 or 1 Cor 5, 6b-8; Jn 20, 1-9

God raised him on the third day (Acts 10, 40)

In the risen Jesus is the foolishness of the cross exalted. By the Lord has this been done!

By grace Peter and the beloved disciple believe. Although the appearances of the Risen One will later confirm their faith, the two, without having seen Jesus rise with their own eyes, come to understand, on the tenuous basis of the empty tomb, the testimony of Scripture about his resurrection.

Just as wonderful to are eyes are the resurrection of Jesus and the dispelling of the darkness of dawn in the light of day, so also is the faith of the previously incredulous and disappointed by the death of their Master, and later stunned by the announcement, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb.” Faith in the Risen One is a divine gift.

This faith is due neither to human knowledge that demands scientific proofs or undeniable empirical evidences. Rather, faith is a matter of foolishness.

The foolishness lies in that faith is its own justification. If believers find no explanation sufficient, believers, for their part, find no explanation necessary. These “believe simply, without delving into things” in the manner of the poor among whom true religion is preserved, according to St. Vincent de Paul (FrXI:201).

Not that those who live by faith are naïve. They are as sane as those of us who accept ourselves as natural children of our mothers even if we have not seen them give birth to us and without DNA test. They are no less reasonable than those who, stopped at the red light, proceed with little hesitation when the light turns green; that there are accidents sometimes, this only shows that what is commonly taken as sure knowledge turns out to be really only belief.

Faith is neither fanatical nor triumphalist. Those who are grounded in it endure suffering and shame, for they know whom they have believed and they recognize the gratuity of faith; they do not bring sufferings and insults to others, arrogantly imposing themselves on them. They come weak, fearful and trembling. They are determined to know and proclaim nothing except Christ crucified, foolishness and weakness to the earthbound, but to those who are focused on what is above, the wisdom and power of God.

And the more we Christians, living the commitment that is memorialized in the Eucharist, find the wisdom of God in what humans consider foolish and contemptible (St. Vincent–FrXI:131), the more persuasive and contagious our witness to the Risen One and to the wisdom of his cross.

Lord, open our eyes and hearts, so that we may see and welcome the wisdom in the foolishness of Calvary.

Ross Reyes Dizon

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