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Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
Jesus preaches to the crowds, those who know of His miracles and believe, those who have heard of His ministry, and want to know more, and, likely, those who have no faith and little hope, and…little to lose.
I envision, perhaps naively, that the last group might be the most affected by Jesus’ exhortation that those who already have their earthly needs met do not need additional encouragement. No, Jesus’ concern is for those who are wanting: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Fast forward to 2023. We have abundance, yet, we have despair. We have unimaginable choices, but we are afraid to make a decision. We have everything anyone could need or want in our grasp, or a literal computer click away, yet those among us sit alone, in front of a screen, seeking and searching, and coming up empty in the midst of all things.
Jesus knows this, and reminds us we have all we want and need. Our fortune is our benefit, but it is also our responsibility.
In the midst of winter, which is literally turning colder as the season progresses, who among us is wanting? What might we do? We support the organizations in place to assist those who lack in material goods, who need a safe place to stay on a brutal winter’s night. We work to assist families who need shelter, food, and clothing, and, especially, encouragement.
We have the responsibility to remain “foolish” in this world with more ready-made answers. Our job is to discern the questions, and seek solutions.
How well St. Paul, who in his previous life, had made the lives of those he interacted as miserable as possible, tells us those who have the least influence, income, and reason to celebrate are the ones who will find favor with God.
What a wonderous thing: being considered foolish, and gaining eternity!