Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
From today’s reading from Saint Paul’s second letter to the Church of Corinth, we read:
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.
Christianity in the ancient world and today is a religion of contradictions. Individual Christians who are emboldened by their faith are sometimes seen or perceived or treated in these ways, that is, unrecognized, un-alive, reprimanded, sad, deprived, and even bankrupt spiritually or materially. Those who choose to not only whisper their prayers but to boldly allow their faith to come alive in the Spirit through concrete, loving action in the world – – these people can be seen or perceived in all these negative ways. Yet, if you were to ask that Christian, or ask yourself, do I feel or perceive myself the same way? Chances are, the perceptions are the opposite.
The Spirit-emboldened, active Christian disciple lives in the truth, has a relationship with the risen Christ who confirms him or her, is enlivened by the sacraments in the power of the Spirit, is living for, with, in, and alongside Christ, is joyful and energized, brings God’s goodness and peace to many, and seems to have great wisdom and knowledge of the ways of God.
These positive, God-given graces do not come easily or overnight. To the extent that we can recognize them in ourselves, let us offer out humble thanks. To the extent that we are lacking, let us ask for an outpouring of the graces of Faith, Hope, and Love – – that we might become more ourselves in the Spirit of the risen Christ.