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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Our Union With Christ

Monday, June 19, 2023, 11th Week of Ordinary Time (A1)

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for today:

The Responsorial Psalm declares the fruit of authentic Christian ministry: “The Lord has made known his salvation” (Psalm 98).

The reading from 2Corinthians 6: 1-10 begins by saying that we “work together with him.”[i] The word Paul uses, synergountes, is just one example of many words he coined by adding the prefix “co-“ (in Greek syn-) to verbs declaring what Jesus did. Our union with Christ is his theme song. Christian ministry is not just a human activity; it is the mystery of Jesus himself acting with, in and through every member of his body.[ii]

When what we do is so far beyond human power that it is obviously Jesus who is acting, then we reveal his resurrection and his live presence in us. Then “The Lord makes known his salvation.” That is why Paul is so concerned about “putting no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry.” It is also why Paul feels his ministry is “commended” by his sufferings: “through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger…” These bore witness to the divine power of grace acting in him.

Matthew 5:38-42 shows us Jesus urging us to a divine level of love: “Do not resist an evildoer… turn the other cheek; give your cloak as well; go the second mile. Give to everyone who begs… do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow….” These are all examples of love that is more than human. They are manifestations of God’s love active on earth.

This is the love we strive to embody in Christian ministry. And for Christians who are “priests in the Priest” every encounter with every person is ministry. We say with St. Paul, “I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me.” And in every Mass, we join ourselves to Jesus during the Eucharistic Prayer, saying with him to every person we will deal with, “This is my body, given up for you.” To unite ourselves with Jesus making this offering — to offer him as “priests in the Priest” and ourselves as “victims in the Victim” — is the core act of participation in Eucharist. We make this offering real in action through the ministry of loving interaction with every person.

Through the witness of such love “The Lord has made known his salvation.

Initiative: Be a priest: Let Christ love through you in every act of ministry — which means in every dealing you have with every person, all day long.

[i] Translation from the New Revised Standard Version. [ii] 1 Fernand Prat, S.J., gives the list in his The Theology of St. Paul, tr. John Stoddard, Vol. II, pages 18-20 and 391-395: co-suffer: Romans 8:17, 1 Corinthians 12:26; co-crucified: Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20; co-die: 2 Timothy 2:11, cf. 2 Corinthians 7:3; co-buried: Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12; co-resurrected: Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 2:12, 3:1; co-live: Romans 6:8; co-vivified (returned to life): Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13; co-formed (configured): Philippians 3:10, Romans 8:21; co-glorified: Romans 8:17; co-seated: Ephesians 2:6; co-reign: 2 Timothy 2:12; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:8; co-planted: Romans 6:5; co-heirs: Romans 8:17, Ephesians 3:6; co-sharers: Ephesians 3:6, 5:7; co-incarnated (embodied): Ephesians 3:6; co-built: Ephesians 2:22; co-structured (and connected): Ephesians 2:21, Ephesians 4:16, Colossians 2:19. Add 2Corinthians 6:1: co-working (synergountes).

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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