The Glorious Impossible!

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The Greeks were fond of conundrums.  “If God is omnipotent,” they asked, “can He make a rock so big that He can’t lift it?”  They loved that kind of stuff.  The Jewish mind was much more practical.  “If it’s harder for a rich man to be saved than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, then who can be saved?” fretted the apostles.  Greeks dallied with ideas that were more like mathematical riddles than anything else and didn’t worry too much about the answer.  The apostles asked life and death questions in the same spirit as Samuel Johnson, who said “Nothing so wonderfully concentrates the mind as the prospect of a hanging.”  And because they were serious, they got a serious answer: “With God all things are possible.”  Including the glorious impossiblility of a God who would become incarnate and weak (so weak He couldn’t lift a giant boulder He had made).  More glorious still, in His weakness, that God would carry the rock of our sins — even the sins of the rich — on His shoulders and cast it into the abyss.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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