Learn from myself and Apollos not to go beyond what is written, so that none of you will be inflated with pride
in favor of one person over against another.
Alcoholics Anonymous has a useful saying, and typical of their good humor: KISS, Keep it simple, Stupid!"
Simply is the best way to approach the mysteries of our faith. Hearing the Word of God, before we even think about it we should "taste and see the goodness of the Lord." Realizing that we have been privileged we need not dwell upon the privilege but we stop and let the pleasure of hearing God's voice turn aside any distractions that might be hovering nearby.
Sometimes, when people approach a routine evening meal, they begin by criticising the food, its smell and appearance and general presentation. Some might pick at it, trying to discover if it's edible; others simply turn up the nose and reach for the peanut butter. Wouldn't it be better to thank God for the food and prepare our mouths, lips, tongues and palates for delight and satisfaction? With that same openness we receive the Word of God.
With that attitude of delight we're less likely to "go beyond what is written" as the Corinthians were apparently doing. In today's selection from I Corinthians Saint Paul continues to urge his disciples to set aside their difference, especially their absurd quarrel between "Paul's disciples" -- he disavows their loyalty -- and "Apollos' disciples." Their creating factions is all the more ridiculous since he and Apollos have no quarrel!
What do they expect to get out of their feuding? Surely not some kind of superior edge.
In a parental attempt to "admonish" them back into line he reminds them that he has gained nothing from the Gospel except disrepute, hunger, thirst and ill treatment! How can they expect any worldly satisfaction when their "father" is treated so badly?
Finally, the Apostle reminds his disputing disciples they have only one father. A quarreling congregation, torn by dissension, suspicion and animosity cannot know the Truth. Distancing themselves from one another, they move ever farther from the Lord of Truth and the Apostle whose heart is breaking.