Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Perfecti | Be Mature

“Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” – 1 Cor 14:20 (NASB).

 

Photo by Jason Peter on Unsplash


The first Corinthians 14 talks about the gift of tongues or speaking in tongues. The Apostle Paul explains that by the power of Holy Spirit, someone who has it will be talking to God only because other people will not be able to understand it, as it will all be mysterious (Verse 2). It seems like the believers in Corinth were so eager to have this special gift that Apostle Paul needed to address this issue deeper (Verse 12).

He encourages anyone who has it to pray for the ability to interpret it also. Because the person’s spirit is praying but he does not understand what he’s saying (Verse 13-14). Moreover, it does not strengthen other people who hear it (Verse 17). It strengthens the person who speaks it personally, but it is useless for the whole congregation. It’s sad that some believers, even churches, still boast on their abilities in this gift. Apostle Paul himself spoke in tongues more than others but he rather chose five understandable words to help others more than ten thousand words in an unknown language (Verse 19).

Paul used the word ‘children’ as an analogy to describe the behavior of the Corinthians towards this gift (Verse 20). They were encouraged to desire another special ability of the Spirit which is to prophesy. Because anyone who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them (Verse 3). The unbelievers or people who don’t understand will be convicted and called to account by the prophecy and it will lead them to repent and acknowledge the presence of God (Verse 24-25). On the contrary, when all people are speaking in tongues, the unbelievers or outsiders who enter will think they are insane (Verse 23).

It’s our human nature that we want to stand out from the crowd. We tend to be proud of having abilities no one or not many people possess. This would be a pitfall in a ministry. When we preach or teach or even write a reflection on scriptures like this, who exactly are we serving - the Lord, other people or our own pride? Are we still immature like children who want to show off our abilities? What do we seek when we wish for any spiritual gifts? Apostle Paul said, “…seek those that will strengthen the whole church”. May God help us all. Amen.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 by Desire Litaay

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Caritatem Habere | Have Love

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" — 1 Cor 13:1 (NIV).

 

Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

 

The Corinthians were completed with many spiritual gifts. One of them was the gift of tongues. Paul reminded them that even the gift of tongues was meaningless without love. A person may speak many languages, but without love, it is meaningless, like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. It is just an empty noise. Whatever does not proceed out of love is only a noise. The apostle Paul emphasized to the Corinthians that having spiritual gifts without having love was useless. Spiritual gifts can fulfill God's will only if they are controlled by the principle of love.

People can give without love. This makes me think of how some people give money to the poor just for showing off and not out of love. They only want to show. People can teach without love. Some people could have all the faith in the world that they could move somebody's heart or literally move mountains but it means nothing without love. People can sacrifice without love. They are not moved by love, but by pride and the need to be recognized.

When I read this letter of the Apostle Paul, I was surprised because so many good values would be in vain without love. Even if people have many talents, have a willingness to sacrifice, have a gift of prophecy, and so on, all of those things are in vain if they do it without love. So what is true love really like?

The perfect model of true love is like what Jesus did for us. He still loves even though he suffers a lot. It was love that made the Lord Jesus forget to rest for the sake of healing many people. It was love that made the Lord Jesus never stop teaching even though he was rejected many times. It was love that put Jesus on the cross and in the cold tomb. He loves not for His own benefit but for love itself. Let's imitate the Lord Jesus in love.

May God bless you always.  

 

 

Reflection on 1 Cor 13:1-13 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Unum Corpus | One Body

"For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body... Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many" —1 Cor 12:13-14.






Our reading today came from 1 Corinthians 12:13-31Apostle Paul was a master teacher. As he was admonishing the church of Corinthians to be in one Spirit in serving the Lord, he used the story to bring the point home. The story he used was the human body. 

He portrayed the church as a human body wherewith the body parts were interconnected one with another. Hand couldn't boast itself, eyes couldn't either. All body parts must work together for one goal. The same with the church, everybody has their own jobs in the church with one goal, which is to glorify God.

May we as God's people in His church, work together to bring glory and honor to His name by doing our parts in the local church. May God bless and keep us.



Reflection on 1 Corinthians 12:13-31 by Pst. Devy Nanlohy
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Manifestatio Spiritus | The Same Spirit

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit” - 1 Cor 12:5.


As Christians who believe in Jesus Christ, we know that we all are different. Each of us is a special child of God.

We have much in common, but we have special spiritual gifts to serve others. Apostle Paul teaches us we should be friendly and compassionate. It is the foundation of our spiritual life.

If we want to progress and know ourselves better, we ought to live in peace. We need to receive God's Spirit and to accept Jesus as our Lord. 

Personal maturity consists in knowing our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. I cannot know myself if I do not allow the Holy Spirit to work on me. I cannot receive all the gifts of the Spirit if I do not accept the truth about myself.

God the Father enriches and blesses each person. Thus, each of us has different spiritual gifts (v.4) and can do different things (v.5). But we are one in God.

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to let us know the best way of serving others (v.7).

O Holy Spirit, we praise you and worship you. Let us recognize our talents and skills to build one Church of Christ. We understand that all good things come from you. Thanks to your gifts we have great faith, we can heal the sick and even perform mighty miracles (v.10). We want to become your prophets in the present situation. We want to recognize your presence in the world. So we read the Scriptures and explain what your words mean. We pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Reflection on 1 Cor 12:1-11 by Fr. Józef Trzebuniak, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Friday, July 9, 2021

Corpus Meum | My Body For You

 "This is my body that is for you. Keep doing this in memory of me"  —  1 Cor 11:24. 




Today’s verses remind me of the mass, as it is the very words that are said in the mass. 

It still leaves me in awe how much the Lord could possibly love us that He went to us and saved us. How He was willing to offer Himself - the only true worthy sacrifice for our salvation. How He communes with us, and how He was only too willing to be one with us - in Spirit, in Body and in love. I cannot even begin to imagine how much the Lord truly loves us, and I sit in peace knowing I am loved.

I pray I may always examine my conscience to stay in grace and be worthy of God’s presence. Even so, I am thankful that even in times I fall and I sin, and most especially on these times when I am unworthy, that God’s light will always shine upon me. 

We may not be worthy, but even so, we are always loved.



Reflection on 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 by Blessie Sto Tomas

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

In Unum | Unite

“For there must be divisions among you, in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” - 1 Cor 11:19

 

 



Does God really want division among His people? Of course not. God wants His people to always be united. But because of the stubbornness of our human hearts, God allowed mankind to be divided.

Basically, if anything is scattered, it will be difficult to maintain something. On the other hand, if they stick together, they will be strong even though they have been separated. Likewise, God's people, both individuals and groups, will remain strong in faith in God, if we do not separate ourselves from Jesus, who is the Source of our lives.

Sometimes we face various temptations and challenges in life, just like global pandemic of Covid 19 that still haunts us today. In uncertainty, we should remain united with God who may have his own plans behind this pandemic. The best option for us is to pray and surrender completely to God's will and power because only He alone could find the answer, why this pandemic happened. If we lose hope, we will find ourselves hopeless, restless, and sad because of many questions are still unanswered.  

God doesn’t want us to lose hope. This is the time for us to prove our loyalty to Him. Stay strong in obstacles of life, so that God who is faithful will be happy to see us faithful. God bless us all.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC

(Listen to the Podcast here)


Monday, July 5, 2021

Viri Caput | Head of Every Man

"But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God... but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or head shaved, then she should cover her head." - 1 Cor 11:3, 6






Looking at Paul's admonishments to the young church in Corinth, it must be taken in the context of the culture during the time of his writing. Long hair was considered as a feminine trait of beauty, whereas men generally kept shorter hair as a sign of masculinity. 

It was also written in a patriarchal era where women with a head covering were generally considered as modest and pure, whereas it was the immoral women who kept their hair loosely or unbound like the woman who had anointed Jesus with perfumed oil and wiped His feet with her unbound hair. Notice that our LORD did not condemn the sinful woman for her chequered past but rather exemplified her use of expensive perfumed oil as a form of extravagant worship that He deserved.

Similarly, I like the famous quote from Oscar Wilde, "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." I too had once walked in darkness, speeding on a highway of sensual indulgences towards Hell and eternal damnation and was ignorant of the immense grace that had been poured into my life after an acute stroke. But Jesus Christ had shouted to Heaven, "It is finished!" when He gave up His life on earth for my rightful death as a sinner, forgiven by a merciful God. 

And knowing that Christ is the True Head in my life, I just want to lay down my life at His Feet as a fragrant offering to Him, my LORD, and KING. By recognizing the Godhead in every man, woman and child He brings into my life, including the difficult ones who might seem a lot harder to love by my own power but only by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, can I love as Jesus does. I will close with this simple children's hymn, as a reminder of Jesus' immense love, death, and glorious resurrection for every man, child, and woman...


Jesus Loves Me (This I Know)

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, He who died. Heaven's gates to open wide. He will wash away my sins. Let his little child come in. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, loves me still. Though I'm very weak and ill. From his shining throne on high. Comes to watch me where I lie. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me He will stay, close beside me all the way. If I love Him when I die, He will take me home on high. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so.




Reflection on 1 Corinthians 11:1-15 by Chris Tan 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Non Omnia | Not Everything Is Beneficial

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive." - 1 Cor 10:23







The Indonesian government sets an enforcement of restrictions on community activities during 3-20 July, 2021. This influences my community life in Jogjakarta that we have to keep staying at home again and only go out if we have an urgent thing. This rule restricts my movement to socialize while it is beneficial for my safety and many people. 

Indeed, when I decide to go outside as far as with obeying the health protocol and not being harmful for others, I am not to be blamed. But for the safety of many people, I have to control myself. I think it relates to what Paul the apostle said to the Corinthians that he had the right to do anything yet not everything was constructive. In other words, even if something is legal, we should consider others before doing it.

Sometimes, we do something without considering others even though we have the right to do it. Besides, we think that what we have done is right and not against the rule. However, we are not living alone. We live together with people surround us. We should consider if what we do is beneficial and constructive for others not only for our self-importance.



Reflection on 1 Cor 10:23-33 by Fr. Aris Mada, SVD 

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, June 28, 2021

In Agone | Strict Training

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." - 1 Cor 9:25



Photo by Li Sun from Pexels



Apostle Paul wrote about a strict training everyone in a race must go through. Such training to get a crown cannot come from our own power especially to get the crown that will last forever. The training we need is to humble our rebellious selves and surrender totally under the grace of God.

Reflecting on my personal journey from darkness and indulging every form of sensual pleasures, that ranged from clubbing to smoking and much more - some I even feel ashamed to mention or call to mind now as a child of God. In the early years of my Christian journey, I tried to break these sinful chains on my own strength but failed miserably time and time again, until one day, God reached into the core of my heart and whispered, "My child, do you love me more than these?" Many times, He did it, until the dam broke and all the brokenness and sinfulness were exposed in the light. It was like old skeletons that were locked in my heart, inaccessible to anyone, including the numerous therapists, and countless priests who heard my repeated tearful confessions without any real change of heart.

This was the pivotal moment in my life that finally, I had learned to surrender it all to the Lord of lords (& King of kings), to quietly whisper, "Yes LORD, You know that I love you." But His gentle reply without any rebuke was, "Come to Me child, hold My hand & I will show you greater things than these." I finally understood the strange paradigm at work in God's kingdom. As the LORD's own spoken words in Luke 5:31-32, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." - captured in great detail by Dr. Luke, the apostle who had carefully scribed these details of Jesus' earthly ministry as precious lessons from Heaven.

Or as the fiery Apostle Paul who taught, and considered his illustrious Jewish lineage and scholastic achievements as rubbish in the light of the gospel, and preached the saving message of Christ until his dying breath. "It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: 'Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.' " (1 Cor 1:30-31).

Similarly, I consider all my past achievements - be it the degree from NUS or even a short-lived stellar sales career - as worthless trophies, now seen in the glorious light of Christ's amazing saving grace of me, a sinful wretch before knowing Christ, and all of humanity. Amen.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 by Chris Tan

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Merces Mea | This Right

"If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater   right to be  supported? But  we have  never used  this  right..." — 1 Cor 9:12 


Image by Monika Robak from Pixabay


In the 1 Corinthians Paul asserted the rights as an apostle. Most of the other apostles received support from the churches they ministered to. Paul and Barnabas were unique in this regard, choosing to work and support themselves, so no one could accuse them of preaching for a money motive. They didn’t want to put an obstacle on the way of the gospel of Christ.

According to Paul’s letter, let us reflect on it: 

As ministers, are we entitled to get financial support from the community we minister? Yes, we are. Is that support our priority or goal? 

As someone who is being ministered - as the congregation, please ask God to whom/where we want to give our tithe. Paul wrote, we are different parts of one body of Christ. God gives some of us the gift of teaching, the others the gift of doing miracles, or the gift of preaching, the gift of prophecy and some of us the gift of giving. We complete one another. As someone who is being blessed and grows in faith because of the teaching or serving of a particular ministry, it is right to give our tithe to that church or ministry. Then, are we entitled to get something in return from the church or ministry? 

Let us - the ministers and congregations, check our motivations. Do I do everything for the glory of God and Lord Jesus or for me, myself. So we don’t put an obstacle on the way of the gospel of Christ. God bless you.



Reflection on 1 Corinthians 9:1-12 by Veralin Uneputty

Friday, June 25, 2021

Conscientia | Conscience

"But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble... because of your superior knowledge..."— 1 Cor 8:9,11 (NLT) 



Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash



My dear brothers and sisters, if we want to look at our life experiences, then this often happens: knowledgeable people tend to underestimate those who lack the knowledge.  Knowledge is double-faced.  It can build up and give something good, but it can also cause a person to become arrogant. Those who are knowledgeable sometimes become arrogant because they have a great access to enter the world of science.

In this passage, Paul criticized this arrogant attitude.  We can say that a person has true knowledge if he or she can use knowledge for the good of others.  So, if someone says that he or she has knowledge but does not make a good contribution to others, it means that person is arrogant and does not have true knowledge and wisdom.  He or she is like an empty barrel that makes a loud sound.

For Paul, believers was not sufficient to have knowledge but that knowledge must be accompanied by love.  Because those who love God will not use their knowledge to destroy others.  Paul gave the example of eating idols' offerings.  He said that food does not bring us closer to God.  Whether it's eaten or not, we have nothing to lose.  But the obstacle was in the use of knowledge and freedom itself.  Paul advised that freedom should not become a stumbling block to others who were weak.  Don't let the weak perish because of that knowledge.

God desires that we have knowledge.  However, knowledge must go hand in hand with love.  Love always builds and cares for others.  Love becomes the fence for every action that knowledge produces.  Love is the crown of knowledge.

Brothers and sisters, the knowledge we have is a gift from God.  The main problem now lies in its management which always involves love.  Does the knowledge we have become a stumbling block or a means to manifest love for others?  Let us ask for wisdom from God, that he will teach us to manage knowledge with love to help others and glorify his name. Amen.




Reflection on 1 Corinthians 8: 7 – 13 by Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sine Inpedimento | Undivided Devotion

"I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord" - 1 Cor 7:35 (NIV).


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash



All distractions sometimes make us unable to focus on the goal. I usually have a shopping list. But while at the supermarket, my attention is drawn to other interesting items. As a result, I buy items that are not in accordance with the planned budget and it takes longer time at the supermarket. Social media notifications on my smartphone also often distract me when I'm trying hard to study. It takes some effort and a decision so that my devotion is undistracted.

In his letter, Paul emphasized that the most important thing in life is not simply making a life, but making a decision to focus on God, the highest purpose of our lives. Even marriage, God-given as it is, beautiful as it is, is not necessarily the highest choice an individual can make. Paul is not saying that being unmarried is better than being married. However, he reminded that by getting married and having a family, someone has obligations, problems, and family matters. If a person is not aware of it, all family problems will cause him/her make God as the second focus.

Paul emphasized that unmarried status is not at all lower than married status. We live in a time where all worldly things are coming to an end. For this reason, life in this world should not be our primary concern; instead, we should direct our primary attention to our heavenly home (Heb 11:13-16).

So his word to us is, "Don't let all these things in the world around you become the center of your life". Whatever our status, let's make the decision to stay focused on serving God in our daily lives.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 by Fr. Fransiskus Diaz, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Vir Salvus | The Saved One

"Don't you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don't you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?" - 1 Cor 7:16 (NLT)




Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus.

In this text Paul was urging the congregation in the church of Corinth, to keep their family life in order. The church consisted of the believers who were saved from their life of sin, all the while their spouses were still unbelievers. Apostle Paul was stressing the importance of the life of testimony to bring others to Christ, especially in front of the life of their own spouse.

It has been said that you are the only Bible some people will read. People who may never step foot inside the church or crack open their Bible will get a glimpse of Scripture through our life before their eyes. As a matter of fact, this is a hard thing to do. Living your life as if today is your last day on this earth. Having the urge to please our Savior in everything we say and do. 

Paul said in closing, who knows maybe one can win them to the Lord. May the Lord help us to live our life as an open Holy Scripture for others to read. Amen.

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 7:8-16 by Pst. Devy Nanlohy 

Fugite Fornicationem | Sexual Immorality

“Flee from sexual immorality…” - 1 Cor 6:18.





Each of us has our own favorite activities. It could be watching movies, or shopping, or exercising, or even eating – being a food lover. Apostle Paul said that even though we are allowed to do something, it doesn’t mean it is good for us; that we must not become a slave to anything, even though we are allowed to do it (Verse 12).  It is true that food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food – but someday God will destroy both (Verse 13). They are not eternal and will vanish. 

This passage then talks more and deeper concerning sexual immorality i.e. prostitution. We know that humans’ bodies are created with sexual parts for certain purposes as needed. But Apostle Paul said, that our bodies were made for the Lord, He cares about our bodies (Verse 13) and these bodies are actually parts of Christ (Verse 15). 

It is important to notice how Paul explains the oneness we will become with the person we commit a prostitution. It is not merely to fulfil a sexual need. A Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit – God is in us. To whom we are united sexually will result in joining the Lord’s Spirit and Christ parts to that person (Verse 16-17, 19). Whereas joining someone’s body intimately to a prostitute definitely is a sin not only to God but to our own body (Verse 18). I think it applies also in any intimate unions, not only with a prostitute, which do not honor God inside us.
 
It’s different with a marriage which is made to glorify God in a godly union. It has a noble purpose. However, Apostle Paul says in different occasion, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” We need to look at any unions in a profound way. Especially for an intimate union, it involves light and darkness. Darkness will take us away from God. 

Just because we have sexual organs as parts of our own body, it doesn’t mean we have the right to use it in our own selfish way. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality (Verse 13). We must honor God with our bodies because these bodies do not belong to us anymore – as God bought us with a high price (Verse 20). Let’s not become a slave of our own will, moreover let’s run and stay away from sexual sin (Verse 18). May God help us all. Amen.

Reflection on 1 Cor 6:12-20 by Desire Litaay 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Vetus Fermentum | The Old Yeast

“Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, in as much as you are unleavened. For our Paschal lamb, Christ has been sacrificed.” - 1 Cor 5:7.





Yeast, which induces fermentation, is a natural symbol for a source of corruption that becomes all-pervasive. Yeast is often found in our daily lives and is mostly used to make a variety of dough, especially when making bread. The yeast that people use should also be a good one. If the yeast has been kept for too long, it would affect the dough instead of expanding. 

We know that in the Jewish calendar, Passover was followed immediately by the Festival of Unleavened Bread. In preparation for this feast, all traces of old bread was removed from the house, and during the festival, only unleavened bread was eaten. The sequence of these two feasts provides Paul with an image of Christian existence; Christ’s death ( the true Passover celebration) is followed by the life of the Christian community - marked by newness, purity, and integrity ( a perpetual feast on unleavened bread).

Saint Paul wants to remain us that in order to  become a fresh batch of dough, we have to clear out the old yeast within us. To become a true person of God means willing to die from our anxieties, egos, anger, self-centeredness, and lust. We are willing to give up everything that we have, sacrifice, and give away what we love or even those very dear to us for the sake of others and the kingdom of God. Every time, Jesus Christ the true Passover invites us to celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth ( Verse 8). Sometimes it is not easy to give up ideas, things that become our defense. But we believe that with Christ, we can overcome everything.


Reflection on 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 by Sr. Maria Venidora SND 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, June 18, 2021

Sanctificati | Made Holy

"The power of God's Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God" — 1 Cor 6:11.




When we meet and talk with our friends and members of our families, we get to know so many issues. Everyone wants to share their difficulties and disappointments. For we very often do not know how to solve our problems on our own. So we try to share when we feel that other people listen to us. In the neighbourhood and in the families there are so many disagreements. Even small things can become enormous problems. 
It is interesting that we prefer to talk with others for hours than to pray in the church. Yesterday when I visited my family in Poland, I experienced the same situation. My relatives shared a lot of their stories. They expressed their cases and made me listen to them. At the same time, when I was traveling home, I entered two churches. It was so calm inside. There was no one in a chapel and in the sanctuary, in Rychwałd there were only a few people. In both of these places, there was Jesus Christ waiting for people to share their stories. The Son of God was there to help all the believers. However, we Christians do not come to visit him. We sometimes choose to take our complaints to the court than to Jesus Christ. We forget that we could discuss all the matters with Jesus in the church. With him, we are able to judge everyday matters.
We should be ashamed if as Christian we rarely share our issues with our Lord. As good people we do have a share in the blessings of God's kingdom (v. 9). We should not forget about our dignity as followers of Christ. We should not fool ourselves. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the Truth and he teaches us everything. Through the Scriptures, he explains to us how to behave in every case. Let us believe that we have been washed and made holy and acceptable to God. We really are capable of making the right decisions with Jesus.  
  
Reflection on 1 Cor 6:1-11 by fr Józef Trzebuniak SVD.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Purgamenta Mundi | The scum of the world

"When we are slandered, we reply as friends; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now" — 1 Cor 6:13 (NASB) 





Our reflection for today, is taken from 1 Corinthians 4:6-13 - An invitation to be humble. "Do not go beyond what is written, lest any of you boast by giving priority to one over the other." (1 Cor 6:6). It invites us to always be humble because there is nothing that we should be proud of that comes from ourselves. 

We should be grateful for all that we receive. The breath of life that we breathe every day - if God wants to take it away then our lives will end. How often do we give thanks for being able to breathe? If we still don't realize it, our relationship with God is still quite far away. We need to return to see God's love and mercy in the midst of our daily works. 

In Verse 13, Saint Paul sharpens his humility in the words "we have become like the dregs of the world, like the filth of all things until now". Only with humility we can grasp the grace we need from God. Pride closes all doors of goodness. Pride distances us from others and also distances our hearts from God. With pride, we create strong walls and fortress to guard ourselves against the friendliness and kindness of others. 

Are we able to go on living alone and not need other people in our daily lives? If we are not, so humble ourselves and draw closer to the source of mercy so that we are always be blessed with abundant love from the source that God has provided. Amen

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 4:6-13 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Nolite Ludicare | Don't Make Judgments

"So don't make judgments about anyone ahead of time - before the Lord returns..." — 1 Cor 4:5 (NLT)





My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, St. Paul in the scripture passage for today wants to remind us also, not only the people of Corinth, about the insignificance of judging others as Christians (1 Cor 4:4) and the benefit of  being faithful to God as a way of becoming true disciples of Him (1 Cor 4:2).

Dear people of God, Judgment prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearance. Each one of us has something good to offer his or her generation. We all have strengths and opportunities at our disposal for the benefit of ourselves and others. But most often we tend to look out for what others are doing and criticize. By so doing we kill their spirit and prevent them from growing and becoming all that God wants them to be. 

However, today's scripture passage encourages us not to judge people because that is not what we have been called to do. It's rather to be faithful in doing that which God has entrusted into our hands, be it talents, proficiency at workplace or eloquence in preaching his message of salvation.

Remember, God will judge all that we are doing one day so let us spend the rest of our lives helping one another become the best version of him or herself. We are to focus on the strengths and opportunities of others and less attention on their weaknesses and threats knowing that we too are weak in one way or the other. We should always remember that true judgment only comes from God. God bless you all. Amen.

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 by Fr. Godfred Koranteng, SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Templum Dei | Temple of God

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" — 1 Cor 3:16

 

Photo by Julia Volk from Pexels

 

My brothers and sisters, every Sunday, we praise God in a church. A church is a place for us to meet God where we as Christians pray and praise Him to establish our relationship with Him. Besides, in the church, we listen to God's word and meditate on it to give strength and salvation as God's word is spiritual food for our life. Thus, a church is a sacred place since God dwells in it.

A church is not only a kind of building but also a community of God's people. People collect together, pray together, and share. Moreover, this fellowship consists of each person who contributes himself or herself to the church. Thus, ourselves is a church itself which Jesus Christ is the foundation.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul the apostles delivered his message that they were God's temple and God dwelled in them. This statement was not only addressed to the Corinthians but also toward us. To build ourselves as God's temple, we need Jesus Christ's spirit, a spirit of sacrificing, solidarity, loving, patience, and humility.

Those virtues above are the quality of Christian life offered to the world when materialism becomes the value of the world. We can see that people are valued by how many goods they have or how many benefits they have. However, for Christians, everyone is valuable and dignified because God lives in him or her.

Let us keep maintaining ourselves as God's temple by establishing our relationship with God and others. We are the temple of God since God dwells in us.

 

 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 3:11-23 by Fr. Aris Mada, SVD


Sit Ignis Probabit | Revealed with Fire

"...It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work." — 1 Cor 3:13




Reflecting on my personal journey from an idol worshipper into a worshipper of the Lord of Heaven and earth, I've come to appreciate the power of the Holy Spirit's Refining Fire that burned away sinfulness and dross that reigned in my heart until the day I invited Jesus into my heart with His Glorious Light. As St. Peter wrote in his first letter about the secret to experiencing joy in the midst of fiery trials in this life. "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Pet 1:6-7).

Indeed, there was a war over my soul and my heart, as strongholds of dark and shameful addictions had imprisoned my heart and mind in chains even as a child of God. I could not discern God's Voice because of a loud condemning voice that constantly barked in my mind, "How can you say God loves you? You have a dirty and perverted mind".

However, thanks be to God, that the Holy Spirit lives in me even as I was walking through the dark valleys of earthly sorrows after losing my marriage and sanity. Through time God's Light started to penetrate the dark spaces in my heart and mind and dispel the lingering dark thoughts and memories. I was finally able to discern my Abba Father's still small Voice who whispered in the quiet space of my soul, "My child, I love you more than you can ever know nor imagine, I love you so much that I gave My only Son to die for you."

Thus, I was able to tune into the still small Voice of my Abba Father Who constantly whispered, "I love you, my child." And to finally experience the peace which surpasses human understanding as described by St. Paul in his letter to the young church in Philippi (Phil 4:6-9), even as he was a prisoner in chains for Christ:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent of praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Amen.

 


 

Reflection on 1 Corinthians 3:11-23 by Chris Tan

Friday, June 11, 2021

Vocatio Vestra | Your Calling

"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called..." — 1 Cor 1:26 (NIV) 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 


Dear Brother and sisters, please think what we were when we were called. In the first letter to Corinthians, Paul reminded them to consider their call (v.26). What did Paul mean by the word “calling”? The Church in Corinth was called to be his holy people (v.2) and into the fellowship with Christ (v.9). 

It was proven in the church of Corinth that most Christians in early church were marginal people. Many documents of the 1st century wrote that Christianity was able to convince only the foolish, the dishonourable and the stupid ones of slaves, women, and children only. But Paul wrote that these foolish and weak things of the world shame the wise and the strong, because of God (v.27-28).

Dear Brothers and Sisters, please think what we were when we were called. Some of us were on the peak of our lives - when God called us, but most of us were not. Mostly we were in a deep trouble or suffering when we responded the call and experienced God. If we let Christ into us, God will start to process us to fulfil his purpose on us. He will break our pride in the first place. Since pride is the root of all evil (Gen 3:5). Meanwhile, God is holy and we are called to be holy. Deny ourselves and follow Christ. Finally, we will do many foolish things in the eyes of the world wisdom.

God lets troubles happen, breaks our pride and helps us through it, so that no one may boast before him (v.29). My pride is my logical thinking and me, myself. I put it before God. So God put me in the situations where things happened beyond logic (1 Corinthians 2:9). What can I boast off if I know I am nothing? It is all because of God. “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” – I Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)

Dear brothers and sisters, what is our pride that we put before God? Is it our children, our spouse, our job, our status, our belongings, or ourselves? Or God is our pride - He who so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Let us boast in the Lord (v.31). Amen



Reflection on 1 Corinthians 1: 26 -31 by Veralin Uneputty 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Verbum Crucis | Message of the Cross

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." — 1 Cor 1:18 (NIV) 


Photo by Cdoncel on Unsplash



My dear brothers and sisters, for those who believe in God, the cross is salvation; but to this world, the cross is foolishness. In the church at Corinth, there was a conflict between the Jews and the Greeks about the cross.  For the Jews, the cross was a stumbling block and for the Greeks, the cross was foolish. But Paul had a very beautiful explanation in answering the question of the Greeks and Jews about the meaning of the cross.  These two groups of people had a big influence.  

The Greeks sought wisdom.  They were famous for their philosophers and already had a very advanced intellect in their time by developing reasons and logical thoughts.  Why was the cross for the Greeks foolish?  The cross in their view was a curse or the end of the journey for a person who had severe punishment.  So it didn't make sense to them that the cross was the way of Salvation from God. 

Likewise, for the Jews, the cross of Jesus was considered a scandal.  This term appears by the verdict against Jesus before Pilate. Jesus had to die because he called himself the Son of God.  Jesus was considered to have committed blasphemy so that among the Jews, he was hated by the priests, scribes, and Jewish religious figures.

From Paul's explanation of the cross, it was clear that the thinking of the Greeks and Jews was shallow and wrong.  The declaration of the cross of Christ was the wisdom of God and the power of God in saving mankind.  Even for Paul himself the wisdom of the world had made man ignorant of God.  The foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man, or the weak of God is stronger than man.

The way of the cross is the way God used to save the mankind.  Man is a sinner and deserves the death penalty for sin. But Christ justified man through His sacrifice on the cross, so that man was justified as a gift of God in Christ. Sinners are slaves to sin, so Christ redeemed us from slavery to sin and we belong to Christ.  Furthermore, the cross of Christ declares that the God we know and worship is not only a distant (transcendent) God but also a near (immanent) God, who came down to earth to redeem us.

Brothers and sisters, the cross of Christ is the power and wisdom of God. Therefore, we should not reject Christ and his cross, but we should make him and his cross a source of wisdom and strength in our lives. Amen.




Reflection on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 by Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)