Memorial of Saint Cornelius, pope and martyr, and Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
(I Corinthians 12:12-24.27-31a; Luke 7:11-17)
Solanus Casey was a Capuchin friar of the early part of the twentieth century. Because he had difficulty with studies, he was almost denied ordination to the priesthood. After he was ordained, however, he established himself as a gifted speaker. But he really distinguished himself -- oddly enough – in his duties as a porter for the monastery where he was assigned. Like St. Therea of Liseaux and St. John Vianney he found a vocation in loving anyone and everyone. In time he was recognized as a saint and today the cause of his beatification is well under way. The life of Solanus Casey gives testimony to what St. Paul tells us today in the first reading.
Paul is addressing the problem of rivalry in the Christian community. Some seem to be claiming rank because they speak in tongues. No, Paul says, the rank is clearly established: “first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers” and so forth. He tells the Corinthians that people should strive to develop their talents to be one of these. But he goes on that there is still something even better than attaining the highest ranks. This is to love like Christ.
But how is that? Love means to see others as brothers and sisters. It means to want their best – not material success but spiritual deepening. Finally, it means making a commitment to assist them on that difficult road.