St. Vincent de Paul: Fool

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Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:22-25

“We should not judge the poor by their clothes and outward appearance nor from their mental capacity. On the contrary if you consider the poor in light of faith then you will see that they take the place of God the Son who chose to be poor. Although in His passion He almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews… Since God loves the poor, He also loves the lovers of the poor”

St. Vincent de Paul as recounted by Robert Atwell in Celebrating the Saints (Canterbury Press, 2016) 546.

This reading struck me to aspire to foolishness.

Now that I have your attention, think about this. Those around us should consider our stewardship as foolish. They hoard on earth; we stash in heaven. They avoid being poor at all costs; we pursue this place and posture following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hang with me.¬†Jesus chose to be poor. Clearly this makes it clear to humanity that God’s love is for everyone. It beckons us to care for the poor and undeserving as if we are caring for Him. This requires us not to judge people.

But we tend to judge people and give only to those we think are deserving.

Sit with Jesus on this. Reflect on how undeserving you were when He lavished mercy and grace on you. Now go lavish that on others, particularly the poor. Many may call you a fool for doing this. But do it because it’s following the example of Jesus Christ who Himself was considered foolish.