3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Finding your place in the scroll
There comes a time when we find ourselves in God’s Word. It could be the experience of falling into a scene in the gospel. Or perhaps a specific verse stayed with you and then that verse came to be realized in some way in your day. Scripture also comes alive within us when we bring it into devotional prayer.
The more that we weave the Word of God into our words of prayer we embody the text of salvation history with the text of our history. In Corinth St. Paul would have seen in the shrines of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, the votive offerings left in honor of cures people experienced there. People left clay replicas of the body part that had been cured on the walls of the shrine as a thanksgiving.
It is very likely that seeing all these disconnected body parts gave St. Paul the idea that the members of the Christian community were the living members of the body Christ. Theology of the Body begins in Corinth!
The body of Christ in the sacraments and the body of Christ in the baptized become so through the action and presence of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit becomes active to us when we bring the story of our day to the story of each day’s Mass readings. This kind of activity permits us to find ourselves in “the scroll.”
Scripture scrolls in Jesus’ day were written on tanned sheep hide and one scroll would contain many sheets that would be stitched together. Through prayer we stitch our story into the story of God’s people and we deepen our unity with the other members of the body of Christ and Jesus himself. This activity brings fulfillment to God’s word by our embodying it.
Fulfillment is often pitched nowadays to young adults in the faith scene as an incentive to draw close to God. “God wants to fulfill the desires of your hearts.” This mixing together of God and getting our desires met leads to poor discernment. The reason is that most of us don’t know who we really are anyways. So who’s desires are we steering by?
Better look into the scroll and discover what God’s desires are. That’s what Jesus did. He made it his business to fulfill God’s desires: Bringing good news to the poor, release to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, letting the oppressed go free and proclaiming a year of the Lord’s favour.
Keep reading, you’ll find yourself there.
Fr. Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director OMI Lacombe Canada Province
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment.