The second reading from this week-end readings (the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time) is sort of like that. The very last line will just leave you scratching your head. "For when I am weak, I am strong." What?? I'm sure by the time this line is read at mass, if you are like me, you mind is wandering and you don't have a clue as to what is being said. This line will be said this weekend and as you are replying to the lector, "thanks be to God," your mind will be asking, "What did he say??"
Let's look at the passage as a whole. It is from Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verses 7-10:
Brothers and sisters:That I, Paul, might not become too elated,because ofPrior to this, Paul is talking about having received different visions and revelations. Now, if I was receiving visions and blessings from God--I would think I would have a tendency to get a little--a little cocky. Ever notice when we tend to get too cocky God puts us right back in our place and feeds us a little humble pie. It sounds like maybe this happened to Paul. It does not say exactly what happend but that Paul begged God to stop whatever He was allowing to happen. How does God answer Paul's plea?--"nope--not going to do it. My grace is enough. Power is made perfect in weakness."
the abundance of the revelations,a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel
of Satan,to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the
Lord about this, that it might leave me,but he said to me, "My grace is
sufficient for you,for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast
most gladly of my weaknesses,in order that the power of Christ may dwell with
me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,hardships, persecutions,
and constraints,for the sake of Christ;for when I am weak, then I am
This must have been one of those turn-on-the-lightbulb, AH-HA, moments for Paul because he says that if he had to be weak for Christ to dwell within him then that is what he will do.
We need to let that Ah-ha, moment work in us too. We have a tendency to want to fix everything. Especially as police officers because it's what we do. We go on a call between husband and wife or between neighbors, listen to the problem that has been going on for years and try to solve it in ten minutes so that we can go on to the next call. We do it in our personal lives when we try to do everything on our own without bring God into the picture. "I want to do it this way." "I think I need to do that."
We need to realize that we cannot do it alone. We have to rely on God. And the only way for God to dwell within us is to give up. Stop trying to lead and allow Him to take over. When we turn ourselves over to Him and become weak He will lead us and we are much stonger with Christ dwelling within us then we ever are trying to do things on our own.
"For when I am weak, I am strong." May it isn't a contradiction. Maybe it is a motto.