Saint Paul loved the young Christian Community at Corinth. He knew the Lord had led him to them – in those first years of the Church. Corinth was a thriving port city near Athens. It was a pagan and, often, immoral place.
After connecting with some Jewish Christian converts, Paul spent over a year and a half there, so he was able to establish a firm foothold of faith there. He continued to accompany the young community through serious growing pains and conflicts, sometimes as they even rejected Paul. They grew in Christian maturity through Paul’s faithful love.
Imagining all the challenges as the Church was just beginning helps us be astounded, as we hear the total conviction of this unknown Jewish preacher proclaiming with absolute surety: “While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, we preach a crucified Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-23
In the raging confusion of their time, the power of the paradoxical truth flashed like a light and shone like a beacon. God, Love incarnate, is the One who gives Himself unto death then to rise, inviting all who accept Him to be reborn with Him. Our way to freedom and joy is to love as Jesus loves.
People started to “get it” – and as they did, they discovered peace and joy in faithful love, Christ alive among them.
The truth of this new way was unstoppable, and persecution of this way only fed its growth.
Fast forward 20 centuries. (In God’s time that’s not long!) The velocity of the windspeed of confusion ramps up again now in an increasingly conflictual world! The confusion rips through and divides family and so weakens community from within.
What now? It is our turn to proclaim the message of Saint Paul: We preach a Crucified Christ. As always, the message is preached by living selfless love, that is, at times, even heroic. It is given witness to by the joy of simple Christians like you and me, in our everyday lives, and, particularly through loving Christian families.
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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!