Most people like to be seen… at their best!
In general, people want to have a reputation that can bring them praise.
We like to be known for our good qualities, our generous actions, our inspiring attitude in any given situation.
We wish people to appreciate who we are and what we do.
I expect that the Corinthians to whom the apostle Paul was writing (2nd reading: 1 Cor.3:16-23)
were quite the same as we are.
The words that Paul addressed them may have come rather as a shock, an unpleasant one at that!
“Do not deceive yourselves.
If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age,
you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.
As it is written: ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile’.”
In other words: our human wisdom is short-sighted, narrow-minded, incomplete,
in fact: not really wise at all.
I doubt whether any of us will accept this easily…
Whenever we make a good resolution, it would be surprising to find it worded as:
“From now on, I’ll be a fool.”
But Paul makes it clear that we should become fool in order to become wise.
We can ask ourselves: What is the foolishness we need to abandon?
It comes in many guises:
– the ‘fake news’ so popular nowadays;
– the malicious gossip;
– the hopeless plans;
– the foolhardy ventures;
– the futile pursuit of pseudo-values;
– the misguided attempts to succeed without effort;
– the empty boasting of one’s qualities;
– the erroneous belief that one is always right;
– the paranoiac attitude claiming that people are always against us;
and you can add to the list…
God’s wisdom granted to us by God’s own Spirit is one of genuine trust and hope.
It makes us go through life at peace with God, with others and with ourselves.
It is worth becoming a fool to gain it, is it not?!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/7e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/
Source: Image: Calvary Chapel of Emmet