Monday, June 15, 2009

The Christian Lot

First Reading: 2 Cor 6:1-10
Psalm: Ps 98:1, 2b, 3-4 -- The Lord has made known his salvation
Gospel: Mt 5:38-42

But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. - Matthew 5:39
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful; as unrecognized and yet acknowledged; as dying and behold we live; as chastised and yet not put to death; as sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing and yet possessing all things. - 2 Corinthians 6:8b-10

In today's reading, Paul is speaking to the community of faith in Corinth about endurance in the faith. He is encouraging them to hold fast, despite the many hardships and unfairness that will come their way.

Paul begins by telling the Corinthians "not to receive the grace of God in vain" (2 Cor 6:1). He then moves on to giving lists of challenges that they will face and the ways in which they must stand against them. But why? Why must the Christian face so many attacks from all sides, and why must we respond to those unjust attacks with kindness?

It isn't like we weren't warned. Jesus tells us in the beatitudes: "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me," (Mt 5:11). Again, in John 15:19: "If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." Again and again Jesus tells us that we will not see the day when the world will treat his followers fairly. Anyone who takes the title of Christian must accept that it will be so.

But be not afraid of the difficult times. If we accept that, as Christians, we will be persecuted in this life, so too, we accept the promises of Christ. "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven," (Mt 5:12a). Do not accept the gifts of the Spirit in vain, refusing to share them with others. Be prepared to give of them freely and to demonstrate what it means to truly be a Christian.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. - John 13:35
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of this day. We are grateful for your ever-abundant love for us. Grant that we might share the gifts of the Spirit that we have been given with our brothers and sisters here on earth, so as to glorify your holy name. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. In 2Cor6:3 it says:"We are putting no obstacle in anyones way, ..but as servants of God we have COMMENDED ourself in every way; thru great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, sleepless nights, hunger, putity, patience, kindness genuine love, truthful speech AND the power of God; WITH the WEAPONS of righteousness for the right hand and the left. Let us use those weapons to help us persevere. As you say be strong and of good courage is what we should do. Thru God all thing are possible to endure.