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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weakness as Power

"I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God." 1 Cor 2:4-5

We rarely think of St Paul as full of fear and trembling. Because we know he was a respected rabbi and spoke his mind freely, our image of Paul more often makes us think of a CEO of a large company. It is surprising to hear him insist in his first letter to the Corinthians that any power he has is from God and that is the only reason anyone should listen to him.

It is important to ask ourselves what it is in others that causes us to listen to them with respect. Does their power or wealth frighten us? Are we unduly influenced by their position in the church or world? Or do we open our hearts to their message because we sense they are not speaking on their own but on behalf of God.

St Paul's honesty and humility are the qualities that strengthen him in his evangelizing efforts. Because he knows that the knowledge he had of the Torah prior to his conversion was a source of pride that made him arrogant and dismissive of others, Paul makes sure to rely totally of God's power in all his actions. When we learn to depend on God as well as use our God given gifts, we can be sure that God will guide and help us in everything we do.

Today, ask for God's strength to live the Gospel with joy.

Have you had experiences of your own weakness that taught you to rely more completely on God?

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