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)