Tuesday, September 07, 2010

What a difference!

St. Paul acts all horrified in today's first reading. What? So the members of the Church of Corinth were suing one another; maybe they had reason to.
To which St. Paul says, "So what?" Aside from the fact that the little community went straight to the legal system and not to the Gospel to solve their difficulties ("When your brother wrongs you, tell him his fault between the two of you... If he does not listen, bring two or three others in"), St. Paul wonders if they even realize that once they have turned from a life of greed or lust or untruth, they have entered an entirely new realm of existence. He hints that they are lacking the spirit of the Beatitudes: "Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?"
That really is a different realm of existence! And yet St. Paul seems to say that people who really believe the Gospel and surrender their lives to it will almost be unable to live by the old standards; their lives need to express the radical change that has taken place at the core. They will be true followers of Jesus.

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