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"Grant us by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit…"

May 15, 2018

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Father David's Reflection for Monday of Week Eleven (Ordinary Time)

 

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” (Revised Standard Version). 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. 1

 

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 to every person we say with Christ, “This is my body, given up for you.” 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.

 

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).

 

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