Are you willing to be ‘uncool’ for God’s sake?
"You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped."
In our first reading, the prophet Jeremiah paints a picture of what it means to follow God’s call in our lives. To be duped, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, means "to be deceived or cheated easily: to make a dupe." The dictionary then states that a synonym for a dupe is a fool.
The idea of being a "fool" for God’s sake is picked up by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:10. He says, "We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute." These words echo those of Christ in the Gospel today, "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
The hard thing to understand is what it means in today’s world to be a "fool for Christ." In a recent interview on "Salt and Light TV," Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, asked Stephen Colbert what it meant to be a "fool for Christ." He answered, "to be wrong in society, or wrong according to our time, but right according to our conscience, as guided by the Holy Spirit." And I would add to his definition, "a conscience informed by the teaching of the church."
So to be a Christian means that we don’t really fit into the mainstream to some degree. We don’t believe it’s okay to cohabitate before marriage; we believe life in the womb is sacred. It means we don’t run after the latest tidbit on Facebook that degrades a person and we censor what we and our families consume from media outlets.
In a word, to be Christian means we are willing to be "uncool" for God’s sake. Does that describe you?
Father Timothy Forgét is pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Randolph and St. Mary of the Seven Dolors Parish in Osmond. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.