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According to Napoleon, what separates the sublime from the ridiculous is only one step. In the case of the Gospel, we can paraphrase what Napoleon says and note that “the distance between what is sublime and what is ridiculous is only a few sentences.”
First, we have Peter making a sublime act of faith. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” He had an insight that the other disciples did not have. This insight suggests that he was able to see from within. He was not only seeing with his eyes; he was seeing from somewhere deep within him.
But as we go through the Gospel, a few paragraphs down, we see the sublime becoming ridiculous because Peter shifts from seeing through the power within, to seeing with his human eyes.
Jesus realized this at once and He reprimanded and rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan,” our Lord said.
As it is with Peter, so it is with us. The distance between what is sublime and what is ridiculous is only one step. We can go from professing our undying love for our Lord but in the next breath we go overboard in our zealousness and cross the boundary of the sublime into foolishness.
However, our assurance is, if we constantly use our power to see from within, then we will always remain in the realm of the sublime. But if we choose to look at people, to look at problems, to look at the situation only with our human eyes, then we can easily slide from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Let us pray, that we may have the grace to always see from within, and say with faith, “Lord, you are our savior.”
THE RIDICULOUS AND THE SUBLIME
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