June 12, 2021

Saint Paul writes long sentences! More than this, his long sentences often require familiarity with numerous scriptural and theological concepts that are not easy to grasp. Add to this his unique style and the limitations of translations, and we may be left confounded. I had to read today’s passage from his Second Letter to the Corinthians three times to get a sense of his message. Even then, I was tempted to give up and just move on to the gospel. But like a captivating poem, even though you may not understand it completely, some images and phrases stay with you. Saint Paul is capable of stirring our hearts and minds in this way as well.

Consider for a moment these lines, not as a theological treatise, but as evocative poetry:

“Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them.”

“So, we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.”

When I shut off my overly analytical mind for a moment and dwell on Saint Paul’s imagery, something different happens. I become less weighed down by needing complete clarity and instead begin to feel uplifted. Saint Paul’s words here are inspiring! We are told God is doing something beautiful and new with us. We are told that God will not count our sins and failings against us. We are told that God even considers us worthy to be God’s messengers of these good things. These are wonderful and inspiring messages.

Some of the most essential things in our lives contain some aspect of mystery. Whether it’s faith, hope, love, grace, or even the Eucharist, there’s a part of it that we don’t understand and likely will never understand this side of heaven. But that doesn’t mean that it’s fruitless. Sometimes we simply need to look at it in a new way, be open to the mystery and let it unfold. Sometimes we don’t need answers as much as we need inspiration.

Let Us Pray:

Gracious God, you send your Holy Spirit to accompany and guide us. Help us to see the things that confound us in a new light. Help us to be open to your inspiration. For with us you can always do something new. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About John Christman, SSS