Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
In today’s First Reading St. Paul makes a shocking statement to the Corinthians: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.” What? Didn’t he fall on his face preaching the Gospel in Athens!
He then designates three types of hearers of what he preaches. The Jews: they want signs. Because of their belief in a glorious messiah they could not accept Christ. The Greeks: they wanted intellectual proofs but because the Incarnation/Resurrection is against all human logic, they could not accept Christ. The Christians: they were saved by Christ crucified, by God’s “power” and “wisdom”. They were “poor of the Lord” so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament and concretized by the Blessed Virgin. Into what category do I place myself? Really? At all times? Honestly!
Then today’s readings remind us of the young men and women who put into practice Paul’s formula for preaching on secular college campuses. They are members of a group called FOCUS and they should be better known and supported by the greater Catholic community. Peers preaching to peers, their success is remarkable. Pray that God’s power and wisdom be with them as they preach, not baptize, to present-day Corinthians, to those who are today’s poor of the Lord.