March 5

1Corinthians 1:22-25

“For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…” vss. 22-23

Some of us spend a lot of time trying to make the gospel palatable to unbelievers and skeptics, and that’s really not anything new. For centuries Christian thinkers have tried to make sense of it through logic and systematic theologies. And sometimes those efforts have produced fruit–some people have found their work satisfying and convincing. Even now there are preachers who can find appreciative audiences for their logical and carefully reasoned expositions of scripture–and if they can throw in some jokes, it’s all the better! But as nice as it is to have such gifted presentations, we ultimately run into a brick wall. The gospel in its purity is both a stumbling block and foolishness! It can’t be made palatable to our human appetite for a “feel good” message. The gospel begins with crucifixion, the death of our messiah, and as disciples we are called to lose our lives for Christ’s sake. Of course it doesn’t end there–this is only the beginning! As St. Francis put it, “It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Even though it would be nice to begin at the end and simply focus on the life part, that’s not how it works. The journey begins at the cross, as nonsensical as that may seem, and the suffering, either individual or collective, has to be endured. As Paul discovered, this is how the power of God is made manifest!

Thought for the Day: How can I believe something that doesn’t make sense?

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