A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Scum of the earth

Most of us do not resemble St. Paul as he describes himself in today's first reading (1 Corinthians 4:6b-15):

To this very hour
we go hungry and thirsty,
we are poorly clad and roughly treated,
we wander about homeless
and we toil, working with our own hands.

All of us, however, who are faithful to Christ in this darkening world find resonance in Paul's description of his interaction with the world.

When ridiculed, we bless;
when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we respond gently.
We have become like the world's rubbish,
the scum of all,
to this very moment.

As Paul was, so should we be, as he says in the very next verse after today's first reading…

Therefore, I urge you,
be imitators of me.

And, most importantly, as he says later in this same letter (11:1)

Be imitators of me,
as I am of Christ.

Being the scum of the earth, mistreated and persecuted, may not seem very attractive, but when it comes through faithful imitation of Christ and the power of his grace, it is the way to the greatest glory, as St. Paul says in Philippians 2:5-11:

Have among yourselves
the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.

Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.

Because of this,
God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him
the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven
and on earth
and under the earth,
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father