Third Sunday of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Cor 1:25)
At Saint Louis University, we strive to educate the whole person, to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Academically, our goal is to attain knowledge and excel in our field toward graduation. Physically, we hope to better ourselves through challenges of workouts and sports. Spiritually, we truly believe that God’s healing power can be found through community and service. And while we know the Ignatian goal of educating the whole person – of balancing mind, body, and spirit for Christ – we make it the purpose of our time at SLU.
And then we read this bible verse. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” So, let me get this straight. No matter how wise I am, no matter how strong I am, no matter how spiritual I am… there’s always something more to reach for. I don’t know about you, but at this point I’m asking myself… then what’s the point?
Lent is about realizing those shortcomings, and realizing that my humanity will never reach the level of God’s divinity. But I think more importantly, lent is about not just realizing those shortcomings – it’s about accepting those shortcomings. They are part of our humanity. They are part of what makes us who we are, and what makes God truly divine.
Over the years, “Lent” has taken on a different meaning. Of course, when we are young, “Lent” is a time to give up chocolate and be a little extra hungry on Fridays. Eventually we come to the realization that Lent is a preparation for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, and a participation in his suffering for us. But I think a further understanding of Lent helps us to realize that this time of year allows us to grasp our humanity, to come to grips with our shortcomings, to realize that our flesh and bones will one day return to dust.
A deeper understanding on Lent allows us to see that God is still intrinsically involved in our lives. By becoming more active in our church community, doing something a bit extra each day, or simply becoming conscious of our role in this crazy world and God’s role in our crazy lives, we allow ourselves to take part in the transformation of the Lenten season. And while we spend just about every day striving to become smarter, stronger, and holier, sometimes it’s nice just to realize that the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.