Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind
Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind. The homily today explores the concept of what it means to live as a Christian, especially when the task seems daunting, even impossible. David has the chance to kill King Saul (who is seeking to kill David) but he does not. The gospel has a seemingly impossible list of tasks that are supposed to be done by those who are Christians.
Going Behind the Word
Is faith reasonable? Can it be that Jesus really expects us to live the way he outlines in the gospel? What does it mean for faith to be reasonable anyway? What makes anything reasonable?
In the Christian life it is our task, I think, to be striving to be more and more like Jesus. Think carefully about what that means. Jesus became fully human even though he was the divine Son of God. He suffered on this earth. And those he chose, again and again let him down.
Moreover, he encouraged his followers to consider the love he has for each one of us when they deal with others. So whether it is that person at work we don’t get along with, or the in-law that gets under our skin, or the homeless person with whom we seek to avoid eye contact, we are to see them all as God sees them.
But, oh man, is that tough. And even if we have a lot of willpower, it is quite difficult to imagine any of us, on our own, could do those things listed in the gospel. And so, it is not a desire to get stronger and stronger as in exercise, but to become stronger and stronger by surrendering more and more to Jesus.
And so when we consider whether or not faith is reasonable, we need to consider the relationship between faith and reason. Both are important in the lives of humans. Saint John Paul II called faith and reason “two wings” that made our attempts to learn and understand complete.
Go with God’s Grace
We know that reason can help us to learn many things. But reason cannot understand everything that we need to know. There are some things we know only because God reveals these things to us.
What types of things? We cannot know through reason alone that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Blessed Trinity. Or that Jesus is fully God and fully human. These are only things we know because of the revelation of God.
And when we forget this, we try to make our natural reason equivalent to God (in the sense we try to rely only on reason to think we are equal to God in our reason) we throw caution to the wind. And that is bad, because when we rely only upon ourselves, we fail.
So Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind
So don’t throw caution to the wind. There is no need to do this in the Christian life. In the Christian life, all is dependent upon God. We can only succeed in the life of faith to the degree we realize that God pours our His grace in abundance upon us, and only through and with God’s grace do we have any hope of living the Christian life.
So don’t throw caution to the wind. Rather, go with God’s grace. And do so in everything. Ask God to help you to pray. Ask God to help you to be more generous. But most of all, ask God to help you to know that you can do all things in Him who strengthens you.