Wellspring of the Gospel


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?


Think of some of the controversial teachings of the Church. Try to find out what lies deep within them - why the Church teaches what it does.

Begin to work out ways of explaining this to others.

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