23rd Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1Cor 6:1-11
Brothers and sisters: How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones? Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters? If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the Church? I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers? But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers? Now indeed then it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers. Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Gospel: Lk 6:12-19
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
BROTHER GOES TO COURT AGAINST BROTHER: For Saint Paul, it’s failure on the Corinthian community that they take each other to the court of unbelievers. What then is the purpose of belonging to one Christian community, the body of Christ? By what standards will they be judged at the pagan courts? He questions those who inflict injustice and cheat their brothers. Why not become a victim of injustice and cheating rather than treat others unjustly and cheat on them? Saint Paul addresses an issue that touches the bonds of Christian community life. Justice and sincerity form part of the Christian vocation. The community is not a perfect one as we would later discover in the community of disciples formed by Jesus. It is always growing and the members learn from their mistakes. Learning to handle problems within ourselves using the Gospel values and principles will promote personal and communal growth.
Prayer: When confronted by threats to our bond of unity and fellowship, Lord help us to find consolation in your teaching on love, forgiveness and self-emptying.
THE CALL OF THE TWELVE: Jesus appoints the twelve apostles. This was the beginning of the Christian ministry. Before appointing them, he goes to the mountain to pray. This shows the importance of prayer. Jesus our High priest shows us this and we need to follow it especially when praying for young vocations. We pray for our priests, deacons, brothers and even sisters so that they may be filled with the Holy Spirit. Only then shall they be able to exercise their ministry as Jesus did. From the choice of the apostles, we realise that the church of Christ is not build on the powerful or the mighty, but on the Holy Spirit of the living God. Its through prayer that God hears and also answers us.
ORDINARY MEN FOR A GREAT MISSION: Our Lord Jesus Christ chose twelve apostles from the ordinary people walks of life. They were chosen to be with Him and to be sent out as apostles. Each of us is sent to be an ambassador for Christ, not only by our words but by our lives and deeds. Those apostles were a strange mixture of all kinds of people: tax collector, zealot, fishermen, and a betrayer. They always argued among themselves. Jesus Christ could unite them together for one mission by serving them. Those who have different characters in our Basic Christian communities and parishes can be united in their love for Him. It is Christ’s love which unites us into one despite our differences. If we really love Him, we witness it by our unity and love among us.