The second reading on Sunday, the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time continues our reading of the letter of St Paul to the Galatians.
When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence.
Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. If you go snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, you had better watch or you will destroy the whole community.
Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you.
St Paul calls on us to look beyond ourselves and our needs, beyond ‘fighting our corner’but working for the common good.
In the past weeks and month, in the context of the EU referendum, there has been much setting up of ‘opposition’ to those of different opinion. But now the vote has been taken. The decision has been made, and it seems it is to leave.
As we await the final results the challenge for us all is how do we – all together – accept and implement the expressed will of the community (at least of those parts of the community permitted to vote!).
Almost half of those who did vote do not agree with the decision, but somewhat more than half have won the vote. Now, together, we need (learn again) to work for the common good. Some will see it (at least for a while) as trying to make the best of a bad job, but it is now for the best that, together, we must work, together.
To make bread grains of wheat have to be crushed and ground to form flour. To make wine, grapes are pressed and the juice collected. And then dough has to be made from the flour, and baked to form the one bread for Mass. And the grape juice fermented so that it might becomes the wine, the drink for the one Chalice. In making bread, in making wine what is broken has – through our industry – become something new and whole.
This fruit of our industry is then taken and transformed by Christ into himself – offered as Sacrifice to God, and Sacrifice for us – and then shared with us as food and drink for the next stage of our journey that leads through this world and to eternal life.
- What helps you to seek common-ground with others?
- What frustrates any such attempt to seek common-ground?
- To what and how does the Spirit guide you?
Tabernacle from Church of Ss Peter and Paul, Cracow. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.