Year A: Easter Sunday
Second Reading: Colossians 3: 1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8
The two letters of St Paul offered today both emphasise the newness of life which the resurrection of Jesus opens up for us.
As he suggests, though, this new life will require some effort on our part too. It is an opportunity - but one we can choose to take up or not.
If we do choose to accept the new life that Jesus offers, then we have consciously to make changes. The first change is in how we see our lives. We no longer focus on things from a worldly perspective but from a heavenly one.
Although, obviously, we continue to live on the earth - and go about our daily work and duties, we are also aware that there is a part of our life which is not visible to others. There is a spiritual dimension to our lives - and, in the long run, it is the spiritual dimension which will endure. The things of the world will pass away - but the glory which is part of our spiritual life will not because it is rooted in the life of Christ in God.
The other choice we have to make is to look at the company we keep. The yeast that St Paul talks about today is partly the yeast that is used to leaven bread. The problem is, though, that yeast can be contaminated with other moulds - and, where that happens, the whole batch of bread is ruined. He is urging the Corinthians to expel one of their number who has committed incest and whose presence is corrupting the whole community. This seems harsh - but St Paul was not one to compromise where the Gospel was concerned. In fact, the story has a happy ending in that the one who was expelled does repent and return to the community. The point for us is to be aware of is that we are called to new life - but that, sometimes, there will be impurities that need to be got rid of. This may not be easy - in fact, it almost certainly won’t be! Sacrifices may be necessary. But, as St Paul reminds us, our new life was bought by the sacrifice of Christ. He is our passover - the source of our liberation.
He invites us to share in the Passover feast - to become the pure unleavened bread which is broken for the world.
What does it mean for me?
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