Ignorance v. Foolishness

None of us wants to be considered either ignorant or foolish. Neither would be considered a compliment. To be called an “ignorant fool” would even be worse.

One who is ignorant of a product’s true value — let’s say a car, a diamond — might pay too much. On the other hand, a foolish person knows the value, but because they WANT IT SO BADLY, they pay too much anyway.

Legally, being ignorant could — could — make one less culpable. Probably most mistakes are caused by foolishness rather than ignorance. Still, no one strives to be ignorant or foolish.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians [5:15-20] we are admonished to “watch carefully how we live…not as foolish persons, but as wise.” We are also told, “not to continue in ignorance, but to try to understand.”

It seems that when one is filled with the SPIRIT [not the kind that comes from wine, or beer, or vodka…] the gifts of wisdom and understanding are gained.

Once again this weekend, the Gospel [6:51-58] Jesus teaches about the BREAD OF LIFE. The caveat is that we will live forever, we gain eternal life through this food from heaven. In fact, we have no life within us without the heavenly bread.

Here are thoughts as how this might apply to life:

1. While we check food labels for carbs, sodium, and fat grams —- ALL FOR HEALTHIER LIVING, we need to keep in mind, we cannot live forever here on earth. No amount of exercise, diet, or doctor’s services will keep us alive forever. We want to live long and we want to live well — but life does come to an end and we need to make sure we have eaten the food that will take us on the next leg of the trip.

Before the era of fast food restaurants at every interstate exit and in each small town — we often packed picnic meals to eat along the way. So, as we journey on earth, we need to make sure we pack our food for eternal life.

2. Few of us can feign ignorance as to what is right or wrong, healthy and unhealthy. Most of us reading this blog have knowledge of what we are supposed to do. What we need to keep strong is our understanding of the consequences of our actions, the results of our choices. Young fools might get away with some things, but “older fools” are less cute. The Book of Proverbs [9:1-6] issues an invitation to “come and eat” — forsake foolishness THAT YOU MAY LIVE, and advance in the way of understanding — in other words, get wiser as we age. Learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

3. The WILL OF THE LORD [Ephesians] just might be the same thing that we are planning — then on the other hand, it may not be. As we figure things out with our human knowledge, we just might ask God — does this fit with your will and your plan? Or, has a bit of foolishness, or a touch of ignorance, clouded my vision?

One does not have to be a great cook to appreciate good cooking. One does not have to have a fine palate to know that what we are eating is fine dining. In the same way, one does not have to be deeply religious or a fervent worshiper to know that there is another dimension to life than the one we see. One can have a strong sense of the moral and a deep desire to plug into divine wisdom — and Jesus assures us for another week, that he is that food and he is the source of food unlike any other.

Remain not in ignorance or foolishness. Taste and see — and understand.


About thegospelforliving

Retired Catholic Priest - now serving the community as a paralegal and charter school consultant.
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