Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

( I Corinthians 11:17-26.33; Luke 7:1-10)

A hundred years ago the Church often separated a minority group from the dominant one. Rather than one integrated parish, there were two - a rich parish in the nice part of town and a poor parish of African-Americans, Mexicans or other immigrant group on the poor side of the railroad tracks. Unfortunately, a similar practice is sometimes allowed today.  Communities with means resist having a Eucharist in Spanish, Polish, or other language. St. Paul addresses this abuse in the first reading.

Evidently people have reported to Paul that the well-off in the Corinthian community are separating themselves from the poor.  They have what amounts to a private party while the poor wait for the formal Eucharist to begin. Paul reminds the community that the host of the gathering is Jesus himself present in spirit. In him, he says later in the letter, all are united – slave and free, Jew and Greek, Mexican and Irish, men and women - into one body. Seeking divisions betrays that unity.  It may even nullify his presence

No doubt reaching out to people from other cultures takes us out of our comfort zones. But there is really no alternative for Christians. If we are what we say we are - the Body of Christ -- then we have to act inclusively.  By integrating our communities we profess Jesus Christ as the one Lord of the whole world.