Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Weakness of God is Stronger than Men
May Christ ever illumine our hearts with love for one another!
While digging through some archives, I came across this gem from a homily by St John Chrysostom:
+ + + [begin passage]
. . Paul had this in mind then he said: "The weakness of God is stronger than men." That the preaching of these men was indeed divine is brought home to us in the same way. For how otherwise cold twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? hat they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact nor try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed, he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, the others fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him!
How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ's lifetime did not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, set forth to do battle with the whole world once Christ was dead--if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? Did they perhaps say to themselves, "What is this? He could not help himself but he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?" Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?
It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much.
+ + + [end of passage]
And, these even disagreed with one another while Christ walked among them. The Book of Acts shows they continually debated. Still, the message of God's healing and redemption, the Good News, the Gospel, has reached the corners world.
Yet, we still expect the Church founded from those bickering leaders to be homogenous? Homogeny is not Orthodoxy, thank God!
Christ's love and light have been brought to the lives of sinners by sinners of enormous diversity through the ages. Many who have borne the message of hope have fallen short. Thank God. For He said that He comes not to those who are healthy, but to the sick, the infirm, the destitute, the lonely, the wounded - yes, even to the self-inflated egotist.
Maranatha. Lord, please come.
Lord, have mercy.
John-Brian, priest and sinner.