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“…A STUMBLING BLOCK TO JEWS AND A FOLLY TO GENTILES…” 1 CO 1,23 – Pastor’s Corner – June 16 2019

Dear parishioners,

St. Paul is speaking here of “Christ crucified, … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” as a stumbling block to Jews and a folly to Gentiles. But such a qualification applies equally well to the mystery of the Trinity. To the Jews, the idea that there are three persons in God is nothing other than polytheism in disguise, a scandal. To the Gentiles, such a notion is unintelligible, unthinkable nonsense. “But to those who are called”, that is to say, those who are blessed with the gift of Christian faith, it is a mystery that we can accept to believe in, not because we understand it, but because everything in our Scriptures points in this direction. The gospel of John is especially eloquent in this regard. What’s remarkable about this gospel is that the affirmation of the oneness of the Father and the Son spills over into an affirmation of the oneness of Jesus’ disciples with the Father and the Son. We find the following words in Jesus’ last prayer to the Father in John’s gospel:

“I am praying for those whom you have given me, for they are yours; all mine are yours and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them…Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one… They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world… Sanctify them in the truth… As you have sent me, so I have sent them… I pray for all those who will believe in me because of their word, that they may all be one, even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us…  The glory which you have given me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jn 17,9…23

Wow. We as disciples are an extension of the oneness of the Trinity. In the Holy Spirit, we are sanctified. In virtue of the oneness that defines us as Christians, and that is the work of the Holy Spirit, the world will know that our gospel is real and true. That this man Jesus really was sent by God, and that the Christian claim that God loves us even as He loves his own Son is also true. It reminds me of Jesus’ words in the same gospel to the disciples, just prior to this prayer to the Father: “They will know you are my disciples by the love you have for one another.” Jn 13,35

What a destiny. What an adventure. The question arises again: “Why me Lord, why us?” This is another in the series of questions that God never answers. It is enough that we be aware of our chosenness, that we give humble thanks for it, and that we pray earnestly that our oneness with the Trinity, and that the fruits of this oneness might attain to their fullness, that they might be all that the Father has wanted them to be from all eternity.

God bless, 

 Fr. Guy