Today’s reading: 1 Cor 9
Today we read passages where Paul further annunciates his right as an Apostle to obtain a living from the congregation if he so chooses. However, Paul makes the point that he has forgone this right in order to present absolutely no obstacle between a potential convert and the faith. Paul’s concerns still hold true today. How many of us have heard objections to faith because of elaborate vestments or expensive houses that the Church has? How do we address this concern? One of the ways is to always make our support of the Church voluntary. Simply states, “Yes, the Bishop might have a nice house but that was because the faithful chose to build it for him to make his service to the Church difficult.” Conversely, it is always the responsibility of our clergy to use the money and facilities entrusted to them with the utmost prudence.
Another aspect of Paul’s writing still holds true today. Paul says, “I have become all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some.” We still see this today. I current example is Father James Martin, who has reached out to the LGBT community and some say has gotten ‘to close’ to them. Perhaps though, that is what was needed, for a priest to get into their community and get “too close”. I don’t pretend to know the specific and answer but I’m willing to trust that as long as Father Martin is in communion with his Bishop and the Church that he is doing good work.
Paul’s admonitions in today’s readings don’t just apply to clergy. We are all called, to one degree or another, to forego earthly compensation in the spreading of the gospel. We are all called to find the outcasts, the different, the lonely and ‘get in close’ and spread the gospel.
Tomorrow: 1 Cor 10