Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
September 6, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Corinthians might leave us thinking, “Wow, maybe I’m a sinner but I’m sure not as bad as those guys!”
Paul generates quite a list of reprobates, doesn’t he!
Do not be deceived;
neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers
nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers
will inherit the Kingdom of God.
The list is so compelling that we might be blinded by it and miss the message that the reading has for us. And I think the message is this – what do Paul’s miscreants have in common?
They have violated and scorned
the sanctity of
which demands commitment, trust,
reverence and integrity.
When, in our prayer, we examine our conscience and honestly place before God the best we have done with our day, how does it look in terms of right-relationship?
Paul’s catalogue of sinners use others for their own selfish purposes. There is no mutuality, responsibility or investment in one another’s good. And while our wrongdoings may not make Paul’s Most Wanted List, they will be characterized by the same failings.
The question Paul offers us is this: how reverent, honest, respectful, merciful and loving am I in each of my relationships – with God, myself, Creation, my immediate and larger world?
Or whom might I instead “write off” as fodder for my contempt, gossip, judgements, disregard, indifference or exclusion?
Maybe we don’t mean to do these things, but I think we might be surprised if we really took a good look at ourselves — myself included.
In calling the Corinthians to get it together, Paul is also calling me.
Poetry: When I Am Among the Trees – Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It's simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
Music: We Are All One –