Intellect vs. God
by Rev. Albert F. Ernst, O.S.F.S.
“And no one could answer Him a word; neither did anyone dare from that day forth to ask Him anymore questions.”
No one could answer Him a word. They were speechless before God. There are any number of reasons that make a person speechless. Fear does, the fear of darkness, the terror of an electrical storm, the fright of falling from a high place, all these numb the tongue of a child and sometimes an adult. Beauty takes away words, too. The foaming ocean on a glorious summer day, the woods in autumn which we will witness in the coming weeks, the loveliness of a rose blooming, what can a man say of these? The farewell of loved ones may be silent, there may be a tender kiss, a gentle embrace and friendly touch and speechlessness. The glib tongue of a liar is stiffened when caught in a lie. There are so many things that silence a man, but there is nothing so quiet, so deep, so thorough, or so deadly as the baffled speechlessness of the little man who tires vainly to match words with God. Before the divine wisdom of God, human wisdom stands mute.
At times we experience the arrogance of human wisdom. St. Matthew speaks about that in today’s Gospel. He would like us to ponder it. The doctor of the law, learned and arrogant, thinks he can make a fool of Christ. Here is the impertinent child who is wiser than his parents, the pupil who is brighter than his teacher. Knowing little, thinking they know all, they try to embarrass and to belittle those who have helped, guided and counseled them. This lawyer was only a student of the law. Christ was the maker of the law. When our Lord questioned the Pharisees about Christ, they could not answer. He showed them, in His kindly way, that human wisdom is very limited. Divine wisdom on the contrary, as our Lord indicated is unlimited.
This battle of words between the lawyer and our divine Lord was only a minor skirmish in the warfare between God and the devil. Today, this battle is still raging. The battle lines are drawn. Part of the fight has come out in the open, outspoken defiance of the moral law, the brazen denial of God and the fierce desire to destroy religious belief. But again, human wisdom is frazzled and baffled because the moral law, religious beliefs and God will still exist. In other words the divine plan goes on. The underground struggle, the battle of ideas of philosophy of thought, continues on as well. Unfortunately, this underground struggle stifles the very urging of the human heart, the heart that was made to love God. I wonder what these modern warriors, who make a war of words against God think on a lonely night. What are their thoughts. After all, how does flight from God and His ways profit a man who can think?
Today there is a disturbing trend towards irreligion by the so-called intellectual. It is pitiful that so many, over the centuries, particularly at the present time are led away from God. So Lord, may we never desert You or mutiny against You, rather may You help us, your people, from falling under the influence of the devil and help us to sincerely seek You, the one and only God.