7 November 2017 Tuesday Thirty First Week Ordinary Time Year 1 Homily
Paul’s message today opens with some shocking observations.
First: “We though many are one Body in Christ…”
Second: ”and individually parts of one another.”
This means we are responsible for and to each other.
How can I possibly be a part of you and therefore be responsible for you and how can you be a part of me and responsible to and for me?
The first clue comes from the opening three words of this reading;
“Brothers and sisters….” Paul begins his letters with similar words.
Paul was a person of his own time and culture so in a patriarchal society the “males” precede the “females in common word order usage.
Our sisterhood and brotherhood, our shared “spiritual sibling-hood” we might say, Is not by our choice but by God’s call and God’s decision.
The “parts” are to work together. How is this possible?
Paul says very simply: “Let love be sincere.” He is not talking about romantic love, or “liking”, love at first sight or infatuation.
Paul is talking about love without conditions, without asking why, without expectations of great return.
Paul is speaking about “self emptying” love which is the kind of love Christ has for us.
Self emptying love is love that invites to dinner those who cannot repay us.
Jesús spoke yesterday about “dining”.
Someone “dining with Jesús” today speaks about those “who will dine in the Kingdom of God”.
Jesús would like it to be clear that the invitation in the end goes out to the least likely candidates because “none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”
Other concerns and priorities must not become more important than our participation at the table with the one who gives us the bread of life.