Random Reflections On Mass

I was quite struck by the second reading today in Mass, from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

I think it’s good when we proclaim the good news of the Gospel that we come from a place of weakness, and not worry so much about having persuasive words. I know I tend to think too much about, “well, if only I had said that better, or said this in that way,” but it seems pretty clear to me that St. Paul wasn’t so worried about “human wisdom” as much as he was focused on “Christ crucified.”

St. Francis de Sales has a very good line in one of his letters on spiritual direction, where he essentially says to an abbess that she needs to always remember that God doesn’t really have any need for her to do anything He wants to get done. (The point being not that she shouldn’t be working, but rather that she shouldn’t imagine that she actually has any power to affect people’s lives without the grace of God behind her.) Before he was Pope, Ratzinger wrote something on the New Evangelization that God brings men to God, through God. We may be the very unnecessary vessels that He uses, but the key, it seems to me, is to always approach such things with the belief that “God has no need of me.”

And then go do it.



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