St. Paul

The Highest Honor Imaginable – Second Reading in Preparation for the First Week in Ordinary Time

The Highest Honor Imaginable – Second Reading in Preparation for the First Week in Ordinary Time

This argument of Paul’s is fascinating to me. Confronted with the immorality of the Corinthians, Paul did not simply condemn the practice and warn them of God’s displeasure. That’s what I would have done. Rather, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he gave them an understanding of themselves that should make immorality unthinkable. They were those who had sold themselves into the slavery of sin and death and had been rescued at great cost to the very one they had rebelled against . They owed him their lives. His willingness to claim their lives, though, was not to make them slaves but to give them the highest honor imaginable, to become living temples of the living God: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 2:27)

More

An Enduring Love, an Irrevocable Call – Second Reading for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

An Enduring Love, an Irrevocable Call – Second Reading for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I love how Paul’s extraordinary heart and mind pour through these words. You can almost see a little twinkle in his eye as he writes “life from the dead”, for is that not the very hope on which Christianity is founded: that death is no longer the final enemy and has been ultimately defeated through Christ’s own sacrificial death and resurrection? “Death, where is thy sting? Grave where is thy victory?” he writes elsewhere tauntingly.

Death, in the end, is no match for the redeeming power and love our Lord.

More

Unity and Sacrifice – Second Reading for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Unity and Sacrifice – Second Reading for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us not forget that beyond our identity as Christian individuals there is an innate connection that we share with all people. While compassion manifests itself in many forms, we must yearn to struggle through the discernment of what is best for our brothers and sisters that we may best serve them. Strive to prayerfully accept the challenge of showing compassion to someone that perplexes or refuses you. Pray for someone you cannot see. Prayer is the most effective means through which we shed a layer of our soul; it may be used to shroud someone else in God’s love. Pray, as vehemently as St. Paul did, that we constantly move closer to a more perfect unity with God and with each other.

More

Indomitable Love – Second Reading of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Indomitable Love – Second Reading of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Not even our sin separates us from his love. It destroys our relationship, yes, but it does not end His love nor His willingness to die in order to restore that relationship. Paul’s confidence, born of the cross, is simply this: “He who did not spare his only son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (v32).

More

Holiness and Hope – Second Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Holiness and Hope – Second Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

One of the last things any of us wants to hear in the midst of suffering is that somehow God will bring good out of that situation. But Paul is talking about far more than some sort of spiritual “making lemonade out of lemons.” This passage speaks to us about the restoration of a grace that we have lost by our sin, the grace of original holiness. God created us in freedom not so that we might rebel against him, but so that we might partake in his divine life and share in his glory (CCC 398). This is the great and unfathomable good for which we have been created; this is the great and unfathomable good from which we cut ourselves off by our sin. And it is the great and unfathomable good towards which God is able to work all things—our mistakes, our successes, our grief and our joy—for those who love Him.

More

At a Loss for Words – Second Reading of the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At a Loss for Words – Second Reading of the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At other times, however, my silence has been more an inner recognition of my inability to even give true voice to the depth and breadth of all that I am feeling—both for myself and for others—as well as a profound sense that somehow, in some way He already knows. By this I don’t mean that I don’t need to share with him what is on my heart and mind…It is the silence of vulnerability, the sense of my need to just be with God in a way I cannot be anywhere else and open myself up to Him, trusting that not only does He know all that is in my heart, but that He is always, without fail, working all things for my good, for all of our good (Romans 8:28).

More

Hope Borne of Suffering – Second Reading of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Hope Borne of Suffering – Second Reading of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Pascal says that God will give you just enough light, that if you want to find him you will, but not so much light that if you don’t want to find him, you won’t. God does not force himself upon us, yet we know him to be true. He does not force eternal life on us, yet the desire for it is inscribed in our hearts (Eccl 3:11). Thus, we must choose to live for this life, despite the barriers that the enemy puts in our way. Hope is a grace, yes, but a grace that we must be willing to accept. We must take solace in the word of God, that it is a reliable glimpse of the glorious life that awaits us when we are truly born.

More

St. Paul’s Apostolate – Second Reading for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul

St. Paul’s Apostolate – Second Reading for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul

Faith is defined by Paul as “believing in and professing Christ”. It’s that simple. We are put on the Earth to know and love God. We are all “sent” out into the world to be witnesses to God’s glory, and to share his glory and love with those who do not see him, who do not realize that they too have been sent.

More

Understanding Peace – Second Reading of Trinity Sunday

Understanding Peace – Second Reading of Trinity Sunday

To “live in peace”, that “the God of love and peace will be with you”, however, is to have faith that when you give up a part of your self, a part of what makes you feel powerful, autonomous, you receive in exchange something much greater. The love of Christ is freely given, but only truly received with true patience and determination. Thus, be free, not that you feel empowered to do whatever, whenever, but let peace and love free you from “every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God”.

To live in the peace of Christ is to align ourselves with Him, to free ourselves from the world and its carnal habits and nature. It is to say no to the inclinations of our pride and the desires of our bodies, knowing that in Him alone is fullness of life (Jn 10:10)

More