1 Corinthians 1:4–2:5
I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chlo′e’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Ga′ius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Steph′anas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”
When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
MEDITATION – Dr. Andrew Seeley
When I was a young Catholic, a priest seared a fundamental truth into my soul. He pointed to a crucifix repeatedly and said, “This is love.” Through crucifixes we are continually reminded of who God is, and what love really is. The world around us is so confused, so foolish when it comes to love. Unfortunately, our students are exposed to this foolishness all the time. They desperately need us to share the true wisdom about love with them.
This isn’t easy. Even St. Paul found it challenging. He learned to rely on the Holy Spirit and His gifts; those around him could experience the power of Christ’s cross in the words and love that St. Paul showed.
St. Paul begins this passage by reminding the Corinthians that they “are not lacking in any spiritual gift.” They have from their baptism what is necessary to overcome their dissensions and learn to love one another as Christ loved them. We, too, by meditating on the wisdom and power of Christ’s cross, can put our spiritual gifts in service to our students and schools.
Have I contributed to dissensions in my school community? In times of difficulty, have I prayed for enlightenment from the crucified Christ? Have I neglected opportunities to share the wisdom of God or been unwilling to share because of embarrassment?
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, comfort me.
Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.