Thursday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 434

So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

The New International Version (NIV) translates that clumsy verse 21 thus, “So then, no more boasting about human leaders!” and the King James Version says, “Therefore, let no man glory in men!” As often happens, the KJV says it best, and our own Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) is muddled with its politically correct “human beings.” The Corinthian factions are glorying in the men who they claim as leaders, although the men in question -- Paul and Apollos -- disavow these factions. 

Saint Paul reflected continually on his initial call, when the Lord confronted him on the road to Damascus. The Pharisee had been sent to harass Christians; he didn’t realize he was tormenting God’s Body until he heard that divine complaint, “Why are you persecuting me?” 

From then on the Apostle could never take his eyes off the “One Body” of Christ which is the head and its members. So when he considered the situation in Corinth, he saw them split the very flesh of Jesus.

What’s more, in order to win a small prize they cut themselves out of the great prize, “Everything belongs to you!” he thundered in his letter, whether it be “Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

And you’re feuding about belonging to Paul or Apollos? Where is your brain?

In the same letter he has written, “…eye has not seen, and ear has not heard – it has not entered the human heart -- what God has prepared for those who love him…”

Saint Paul challenges us to keep our eyes on the prize as we make our choices. Many valuable things are offered to us and we’re easily tempted to make our choices based on their relative worth: this Cape Cod versus that ranch house; this Ford versus that Chevy; this AT&T contract versus that Verizon contract. 

Although we must make many choices between these lesser goods, we should daily contemplate the only Good who is our God. The relative worth of these earthly things cannot hold a candle to the absolute worth of Jesus Christ. 

Almighty, most holy, most high and supreme God, all good, supreme good, totally good, you who alone are good; may we give back to you all praise, all glory, all grace, all honor, all blessing and all good. So be it. So be it. Amen. Amen.
Saint Francis of Assisi

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.