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“The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” 

"Christ chose to have parents who were poor but perfect in virtue, lest anyone should glory in his noble lineage and the riches of his parents. He lived a life of poverty to teach others to spurn riches. He lived an ordinary life having no high position to recall others from an inordinate greed for honors. He endured labor, hunger, thirst and bodily scourging, lest those who are intent on bodily pleasures and delights draw back from the good of virtue because of the rigors of such a life. 

In the end Christ endured death, that others might not abandon the truth for fear of death. And lest anyone should fear to undergo a shameful death for the truth, he himself chose the most shameful kind of death, namely, death on a cross. Thus it was fitting for the Son of God to take on human flesh and to suffer death, that by his example he might encourage us to pursue virtue. Peter attested to the truth of this, saying, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps

If Christ had lived in the world in wealth and power and with a high position, it might have been thought that the purpose of his teaching and miracles was to curry human favor and power. Therefore, to make it clear that he was performing a work of divine power, Christ chose all that was low and weak in the world: a lowly mother, a life without riches, and uncultured disciples and messengers. Christ himself was to be rejected and condemned to death by the great ones of the world, to make it perfectly clear that the undertaking of his miracles and his teaching was not of human but of divine power. 

Another point must be considered: in the disposition of providence the Son of God-become-human desired to suffer weakness and wanted his disciples, whom he established as the ministers of human salvation, to be despised in the world. This is the reason he did not choose educated and noble men, but unlettered and common men, namely, poor fishermen. When he sent them to work for the salvation of the world, Christ commanded them to observe poverty, to endure persecution and reproaches and even to undergo death for the sake of the truth, lest their preaching seem to be directed toward some earthly advantage. Thus the salvation of the world would be attributed only to the divine and not to any human wisdom or power. Accordingly, the divine power for accomplishing marvelous deeds was not lacking in these men, who appeared to be of no account in the eyes of the world.

All this was necessary for human redemption that we might learn not to rely proudly on ourselves, but rather on God. For the perfection of human justice requires that we totally subject ourselves to God. It is also from God that we hope to obtain all the good things for which we must strive and which have already been obtained for us." 

From the theological works of Saint Thomas Aquinas.(De rationibus fidei, Ed. Leonina, t. 40, Romae 1969, pp. 56ss.). 

Prepared by Pontifical University Urbaniana,
with the collaboration of the Missionary Institutes