1 Corinthians 3:1-9: Paul addressing the Corinthians “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth…”
Psalm 33: 12-13, 14-15, 20-21 “…From his fixed throne he beholds all who dwell on the earth, He who fashioned the heart of each, he who knows all their works…”
Luke 4: 38-44 “…But he said to them, ‘To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.’…”
St. Magnus of Fussën (died about 722) became a monk at Saint-Gall and this is where his relics were returned and can be found stored in the cathedral. An early Church missionary, he was sent by Bishop Wichpert of Augsburg to preach to the pagans of the Allgäu region of Bavaria. He founded a hermitage in Fussën, in an area between Austria and Bavaria, and there established a monastic community. He was considered holy but also practical, as he helped the local people with best practices on how to clear land for farming. He also helped start a mining operation in a nearby mountainside. By the 15th Century his name was invoked as a Holy Helper against storms, insects, dragons and other dangers and disasters.
Today’s first reading from St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians humbles us and reminds us all who should get credit for the work we do here on earth. In Paul’s time, the people of Corinth were apparently siding up with whomever they had heard the Good News message; as if that was important. It caused arguing and division among the people, they became distracted by who delivered the message rather than focusing on the message. But Paul tells them, he is just the one who planted the seed, and Apollos the one who watered. God is the one to give credit for the growth. We’ve all been nourished in this way as well. If we want the fruit to grow, so that we will grow to become our namesake as Christians, we need to spend time with the Lord in prayer, in order to know the message. There are times, when I question my motivation for going to Mass. Am I there to be with the Lord, or am I there to be seen? We will always have a strong attraction to be with like minded people, so there is a great deal of satisfaction that comes with being with God’s people, and with God’s ministers of His Word. When I pray alone, I am there to be with God, and I think we need both. This might be why Fr. Thomas Keating, a Cistercian Trappist monk tells us to remember Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:6, to go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret, and your Father who sees you in secret will repay you.
The Psalmist reminds us that God looks upon the earth each day, and upon His people. He reminds us that God is the one who “fashioned the heart of each” (Psalm 33:15), and He knows what is in our hearts.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus cures Simon’s mother-in-law, removing her severe fever. She immediately gets up and waits on them. He goes on to cure many others in the town, and then tries to go to spend some time in prayer with the Father. But Jesus can’t escape the people who were so attracted to him they kept pursuing him, asking him to stay with them. Jesus tells them he has to go to “proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43) I’m sure the people might have felt a great void when Jesus had to leave. We can feel that strong connection to Jesus every time we pray through the power of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he gave us the Holy Spirit; so we would never have to feel abandoned or alone. As today’s scriptures call to mind, through our prayer we too can experience the same strong attraction to Jesus as was felt by the people who lived during his time here on earth. Spend some quiet time in prayer with the Lord; heart to heart. Let us get to know God the way He knows us. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your Love…
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