9 September 2008 Memorial of Peter Claver
1 Cor 6, 1-11 and Luke 6, 12-19 To Recreate the World
The Gospel tells us about Jesus choosing his disciples after he went to the mountain to pray. The reading mentioned that Jesus chose His Twelve among all other disciples. To these closest company, He had given a mission to proclaim the Good News to all nations. We ask this question: What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus in today’s world? Let me use the first reading to provide one answer to its many possibilities.
Seneca once said that we love and hate our vices at one and the same time. When St. Paul, Seneca’s contemporary, drew the list of waywardness of the Corinthians, he drew a picture of Corinthian society during his time. The list was what the Corinthians enjoyed doing. Corinth was a bustling district, located on a piece of land that looked like a neck between the eastern and western part of Greece. There is no way for one to go to the other than to pass through Corinth and therefore the Corinthians were one of the most educated but also enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh. When Paul founded the church in Corinth, his fledgling community grew amidst this moral decadence. Many of his members were once living a debauchers’ life.
But at the same time, the Corinthians did not like what was becoming of them. Christianity has transformed the life of the Corinthians. They have plowed their way from a sinful world to become better persons. Christianity provided an alternative way of living than the moral degradation that pervaded Greek society. Christianity has recreated them into children of God.
In the Contemplatio ad Amorem in the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius presents to the retreatant the truth that God continually recreates the universe. It can be seen from history to the development of contemporary society. It is manifested by nature in its growth and evolution. However, each manifestation of growth and development should be accompanied by our participation in its creation.
Discipleship then is about re-creating the world. Just as the lives of the disciples and the lives of many Christians have been transformed by faith, so too should we cooperate and participate in God’s continuous creation.