Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(I Corinthians 6:1-11; Luke 6:12-19)
A recent article contrasts permissive parents who allow their adolescent children to attend parties where alcohol is served with parents who forbid it. The first group, called “Get-Real Parents,” believes that the best they could do to prevent tragedy is insist that their children don’t drive when they drink. The latter group, called “Good Parents,” believes that their children should know from the start that it is unhealthy for them to drink at parties. The community of Christians at Corinth, which St. Paul is addressing in the first reading, faces similar challenges of questionable moral behavior.
Paul refuses to excuse sinfulness. He counts sexual aberrations like fornication and sodomy along with greed and idolatry as blocks to entry into the Kingdom of God. Just as many “Get-Real” people might want to overlook these sins today, some in Paul’s time were willing to downplay their seriousness. Paul, however, knows that Christ came to save the world from its overindulgence.
This does not mean that we can condemn all sinners to hell. On the contrary, we should promote their repentance through prayer, example, and – if feasible – advice. Proceeding in this way we become, like Paul himself, additions to the twelve apostles named in today’s gospel.