A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
November 16, 2019
Excel in the Challenge
June 30, 2018
I have mentioned often how much I love the letters of St. Paul to the many communities of early Christians for they are rich in advice, love, concern and warning; all vital to a growing faith community. And best of all, his letters are timeless! They are as relevant today in living as disciples of Christ as they were in St. Paul’s day. That is the beauty and the awesome nature of Sacred Scripture. How could one ever doubt that God through the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to His people – all people of all time? This week in the Second Reading from Corinthians, St. Paul begins by affirming the people that they indeed are excelling in living as Christian people and then he expresses his hope that they can excel in yet another challenge. He recalls for them that Jesus, though he was rich, for our sake became poor, that we might in turn become rich. St. Paul then challenges the people to share their abundance, so that the poor can become rich. They need to share what they have been given so that all can receive equality. We might wonder, just what is he speaking of? Was he simply asking the rich, the monetarily rich to share their wealth with others? As Christians we know that Jesus had an affinity for the poor and often spoke of how we need to provide for the needs of the poor. Was St. Paul speaking of material goods? Many would say yes. However, many times in Scripture we find layers of insight, teaching or lessons. St. Paul may have been challenging the
people to go deeper: Material goods, or something far more valuable? Could it be that the Christians of his day needed to be challenged to share God’s love? Could it be the message was to know that those who are deemed “rich” in this world are not any more loved than those we see as “poor? In truth, the rich are not loved more, do not receive more mercy, are not cared for more than the poor in the eyes of God. In this, the poor do not have less; they have like all people, all that God has to offer. God loves equally and St. Paul is challenging us to love in the same way. Then these words: “Whoever had much did not have more, and who ever had little did not have less.” We are a People of God, loved equally by the One who created us and that message is central to our living as followers of Jesus Christ. However, the world in which we live surely consists of vast divisions of wealth that can only be remedied by our sharing of what we have with those less fortunate. We, like Jesus need to care for others, sharing our wealth, both spiritual and physical with those who may not have been afforded the opportunities that we have enjoyed. Let us take time in prayer this week to reflect on how we might share our wealth with others. What is God calling us to? And how are each of us to respond knowing that in Gods eyes, all are equal?