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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Looking ahead to Sunday's Gospel

I like to click on the Concord Pastor's blog (found on the right hand side of my blog)and then click on the Bible to read some of the commentaries for next Sunday's Gospel. Today I am quoting from one of my favorite commentators, John Kavanaugh, S. J. of Saint Louis University - do go read the entire commentary as I have just quoted the last part:

"You, dear reader, need not bear the burden of my gospel literal-mindedness or my scruples, but it is noteworthy that Jesus makes such a big deal out of the whole thing.

Clearly he is talking about the danger of putting anyone in the place of God. Surely he is warning us against the tendency to set up a guru or a master as a solution for life’s travails. And there is no doubt that Jesus is reminding all of us that we should not pose as the savior or master of anybody.

Only God is God. As St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians, our message, our word, and our teaching are God’s, who works through and in us all. It is so tempting to make oneself the message and the teaching—especially if you have an honorific title.

If we wish honor or pre-eminence, let it be in service, rather than in being served. If we aspire to be Number One, let us be the first to forgive, to heal, to minister. We can’t escape the message. Jesus is getting at something here.

We are brothers and sisters. That’s that. In this matter of grace and salvation, there is no one of us above the other, even though some of us, by the grace of God, are asked to read the book, preach the word, offer the consecration, or pray the absolution.

Our ministry, like St. Paul’s, must be one of gentle encouragement, “as a mother,” he says, sharing the Good News and graces of our lives. This may not make us look very imposing. But it will make us, with Paul, more grateful."

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