Immersed in Christ: August 29, 2020
SATURDAY of the TWENTY-FIRST WEEK in Ordinary Time
Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
(Responsorial: Psalm 33)
1Corinthians 1:26-31 takes us right down to the nucleus of our existence. Both the metaphysics and the mystery of the life we are living are summed up in the words:
God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
“God is the source of our life” means two things. First, it reminds us that there is no explanation in us or in the universe, none whatsoever, for the fact that we exist. There is nothing created that explains creation itself. Whatever the process was that produced the latest “update” of human nature or any other, something had to “be” to be updated. And even that which obviously is, just as obviously has nothing within itself to explain why it continues in existence. We exist only because, and as long as, God who said, “Let it be!” at the dawn of creation is continuing to say it. God’s living, ongoing creative “word” is the “source of our life”— at it “was in the beginning, is now and ever will be.”
So we have no more to “boast of” than the light that shines only as long as the electricity is on.
But “God is the source of our life” in a second way. God has come into us to live his own divine life within us. He joined us to himself in the body of Christ to act with us, in us and through us. This means we share in God’s own divine life. Now we live and can act “through him, with him, and in him.” Jesus, as God, is the source of our life,” both human and divine.
If God gives all the existence and power to our human actions, he is even more the “source” of everything we can do as sharers in his divine life. So when Paul writes: “Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful,” he is talking about something of no consequence at all. “Human standards” forget that no one has any wisdom and power at all unless it is being given at this moment by God. So no one has anything to boast of.
The bottom line is, if you feel “incompetent” to minister to others, wake up. You can’t be more nothing than nothing. We are all equal in that. And whatever God is making you, that makes you “really something.” Be that. Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own!
But use what God is giving you. Whatever you are, be it in action. In Matthew 25:14-30 God doesn’t care what each one had to work with, just that they put it to work for him. Ministry is the purpose, meaning and joy of life.
Initiative: Be what you are. Do what you can.