STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH
To know God and to receive our salvation, we must walk the path to which the Lord leads us.
We hear St. Paul say today, "Brothers and sisters, as your fellow workers, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you."
When is this acceptable time? "Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Jesus is already leading us to go down the right path through His dying and rising from the dead!
I thought of what my father said almost weekly to us kids this morning, as I was reflecting on the readings: Do not put off to tomorrow what can be done today... How many times have you heard that? I think that is what Paul was saying to the Corinthians. Jesus leads us to the right path and we as Christians also have that same responsibility.
You know that most of us do not like people who brag about their accomplishment. Their boasting leaves us thinking that they are very conceited. Looking deeper into the firstreading today St. Paul is quite frank. You can say he is boasting before the Corinthians, but Paul's purpose is not to inflate his own ego but to put the Corinthians back on the right path to God.
Paul faced issues in his time. When he had preached the Good News in Corinth and founded the Church, some false preachers came along to turn Paul's converts from the true faith. Their ways were winning and their words were persuasive. Paul was so disturbed that he felt compelled to present the Corinthians with his credentials as a true apostle to whom they should return in docility. By all that he had endured Paul demonstrated his love for Christ and for the Corinthians, as the false apostles could not. Paul was showing the true path in faith.
We can be thankful for the help of the Church; we can be thankful that the Church in her liturgy boasts, not about herself, but about God. In fact, one main purpose of the liturgy is to make present before us during the liturgical year all the loving, saving acts of God from the conception and birth of Christ, through his life of ministry, and to the high point of his death and resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. And every Mass centers around the high point since every Mass is the living memorial of the death and resurrection of Jesus. For now is the acceptable time for our salvation!!!
The Responsorial Psalm brings the reading together: The Lord has made know his salvation. The Gospel message says - for us to know God and to receive our salvation, we must walk the path to which the Lord leads us. Jesus said that there is no room for retaliation. We must not only avoid hurting others, but we must seek the good of those who wish us ill, and not return insult with insult. It is God's grace that helps us to treat others, not as we judge they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated--- with loving-kindness and mercy.
The liturgy, constantly recalling all that God has done for us, guides us to appreciate that all God's actions show his wisdom and love. We should not abandon God to follow the false apostles and prophets of our time. Participating in the liturgy should help us to turn all the more in love and devotion to God and stay faithful on his path.