St. Paul tells the Corinthians to consider their calling. He tells them that not many of them were wise by human standards, and not many were considered powerful or of any great status. Was Saint Paul degrading them, trying to make them feel as though they were irrelevant? Just the opposite, Paul was getting them to ditch their attempt to live by other people’s standards.
Think of the world today. The world’s standards are all over television, in commercials, and in the shows we watch; they dictate to us what is considered wise, powerful, and fulfilling. Ironically, the world’s standards leave us wanting rather than feeling fulfilled. If we listen to the world long enough, we begin to believe that there is no other way to happiness, no other way to be fulfilled or given purpose.
Saint Paul tells the Corinthians that God does not choose us by the world’s standards. He chooses certain people to shame those the world considers wise or strong. He tells them that God chooses the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong; that God chooses those whom the world counts for nothing to reduce those who are something to nothing.
I have felt what Saint Paul speaks of, the judgment and criticism of the world and those that live by its standards. I hear in this reading that God does not judge us or choose us by the standards of our secular world. God chooses us because we live in Jesus Christ.
We are chosen because of the actual call that we have, the call that Saint Paul is asking them to consider and remember. While the world may see us as weak or foolish because of our faith, God sees us as strong and wise, for we follow Him, Who is all-powerful and all-knowing.
Ultimately, does it matter what the world thinks of us? No. While there is importance to how we live our faith publicly, we should not subject ourselves to their standards. No one lives to make the world happy; we live for God, the only source of real happiness, the God that chooses us when worldly people tend to look the other way.