The second reading at Mass, on the Sunday of week 5 in Ordinary time, came from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
I do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands. Do you know what my reward is? It is this: in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me.
So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could. For the weak I made myself weak. I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23
Paul’s life has been changed by the Gospel. Now he makes of himself servant to invite others to come to find nourishment and newness in the gift of the Risen Lord.
Once an obstacle for believers, now he strives to be the opposite.
In our words, in our actions, the same calling is ours: the same privilege. Putting self second, or third, or fourth, to assist others to the glorious love and compassion of God
Photograph is of the Blessed Sacrament chapel, Cathedral of Evry, France. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.