Year A: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 6-10
In today’s reading, St Paul speaks of his message as being a message for those who have reached maturity. It echoes the Gospel and First Reading in this - the message is for those who are ready and willing to try to understand it - however imperfectly they put it into practice.
It is not a wisdom that most people will understand - a wisdom that cannot be explained in worldly terms.
As St Paul says, he is teaching about things that no eye has seen - no ear has heard - things beyond the mind of man.
We live in an age when people challenge us to “explain” God - and faith. Sometimes they will use the wrong-doing of a religious person to criticise the Church - or the actions of “fundamentalists” to show how narrow-minded we all are. Sometimes, they will use “science” - saying that if God - or the things of faith cannot be prove, they cannot exist.
It may be wrong to generalise - but it is often the case that our critics are more narrow-minded than people of faith are!
Often, our critics will choose one detail to focus on - and worry at it like a dog with a bone - refusing to listen when the detail is set in a wider context.
The rights of unborn children - or the seriously ill - elderly and infirm, for example.
For us, the roots of the teaching concerning termination of life - in whatever form that takes - are found in our fundamental (in the best sense of the word!) belief in the value of every human person.
We cannot say that this is something we believe in - and then say that some people are exempt from it - especially when those people are not strong enough to defend themselves. It is not the fit - the beautiful - and the strong who “have the right to die”. This is a “right” that some people would say is reserved for infants in the womb - or in the process of being born -or suffering long-term illness - or simply old. We are not talking about equal rights here...
And yet, if -and when we try to put this other point of view, we will generally find tha the shutters come up - and our critic - our questioners will not listen to the answer. To do so would challenge the prejudice they would claim not to have - we are the ones who are prejudiced of course!
So - do we give up?
We could - but perhaps St Paul’s comments can reassure us that we are not seeing or hearing things in he way that most people do.
Because of the Spirit, we are able - and in fact should go more deeply into things. That is our gift - and our responsibility - to go into the depths of wisdom in search of God.
What does it mean for me?
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