Daily Reflection
June 21st, 2007

Jeanne Schuler

Philosophy Department
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Pray for us Children

In his letter to the community at Corinth, Paul pleads in his own defense. He has been misunderstood and the accusations sting. After all, he founded the community and lived there. This was no quick stop on a road trip; Corinth remains close to Paul’s heart. Like a parent, he fears for his children taken in by flashy preachers. Are they as spineless as Eve? From a distance, Paul bellows love and threats.

His words reach into our lives. We have known the ungrateful child, the complaining congregation, scolding clerics, the helplessness of being far away. We have been besieged by noise and division.

Sometimes at Mass, we are surprised to find our hand taken by the stranger next to us. It’s time to pray. The words are familiar and nothing is missing. Swaying slightly, voices merge, our hopes rise together. Flesh meets flesh and we become one body as we call upon You, who belong to all.

Pray, says Jesus, and keep it simple. We aren’t judged by eloquence but by desire. Augustine noted seven petitions in the Lord’s Prayer: three concern God and four address our needs. Father, show us your grandeur, establish your kingdom, and reveal your will. Feed us, forgive us, do not test us harshly, and bring us back from trouble.

Like a parent, Jesus closes with a reminder: remember to forgive others if you hope to be forgiven. And Paul beseeches: God knows, I love you.

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