1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Few prophets are remembered for saying to God’s people: "Have a good day!" or "Go with the flow!" Certainly not the Hebrew Prophets! In the Hebrew and Christian tradition, the prophets are the ones who are not afraid to go face to face with God and to fight the demons within individuals and in the community.
The promise made by Moses in the first reading is fulfilled and surpassed in Jesus, who in the gospel reading, is beginning to teach and act with authority and hold his listeners in the synagogue spellbound. The prophets of old prefaced their remarks "… Thus says the Lord." But Jesus begins: "I say to you…" and His words are effective. They cast out the evil powers and bring healing, revelation and the saving power of God.
In the letter to the Corinthians today, Paul would like all to be free of anxieties in their relationships. He gives advice to those who are married as well as not married. In evaluating the situations of his own time in Corinth, he is careful to distinguish between what the Lord commands and what he, Paul is recommending. His perspective is that the end is coming soon, and as we heard in last Sunday’s reading, "the world as we know it is passing away." (Cor. 7: 29-31) However, Paul is trying to suggest what he thinks is best for the Christian community, without imposing his interpretations on them.
We still need prophetic voices in our time today to help us integrate the teaching of Jesus in whatever the circumstances of our lives are today.
Take some time today to ponder:
Who speaks to us with authority? To whose voices do we listen? Whom do we trust and follow? To whom do we go to educate and form our conscience so that we might be able to recognize in the depth of our being, -the gospel teaching of Jesus, and the will of God for us? We cannot to this all by ourselves without help from others in our community of faith.
Who will act with authority in our life? Who will exorcise the demons of our day- demons that are as powerful as those Jesus confronts in the Gospel readings?
In closing: Let each of us pray our Responsorial Psalm for all who come to this website today.
Sr. Marcella Fabing, C.S.J. is on the staff at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.