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LIKE THE APOSTLES WE NEED TO BE CLOSE TO JESUS

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Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

1 Cor. 6:1-11 & Lk. 5:12-19

A difficulty among his Corinthian converts is dealt with by Saint Paul in today's First Reading. He is not at all happy to witness Christians having recourse to the civil authorities. Such matters should be settled by those within the faith. Surely there are wise and good people among them who could help settle issues and reconcile Christians?

He asks them to consider what their litigation against each other is saying to non-Christians. Now that they are Christians they should all be leading holy lives. He makes a list of all the people who will not make their way to Heaven. Among the list of sinners he mentions ‘sodomites’ although there are people today who insist, incorrectly given this passage, that God does not frown upon practising homosexuality. But through Baptism and a following of Christ every sinner who repents can be justified if he or she is genuinely trying to lead a holy life.

In today's Gospel passage Jesus knew that time on Earth was running out for Him. He saw the desperate need that people had for Him, for huge crowds came from all over the country to seek Him out and be healed by Him. When He left this world who was going to continue His work? He prayed to His Father for guidance. Whom was He going to choose from among his disciples to be His Apostles?

The men He chose included fishermen, a tax collector and a Zealot, most of them just ordinary men, uneducated and unsophisticated. But what they had in common was that they were completely steeped in Christ. He had captivated their hearts so that they had left their livelihood, their family and their old way of life, to follow Him. They had lived so closely with Him that they were beginning to think and act as He did.

Where do we fit into all this? Jesus does not make the same demands on us: we have our jobs and our families but, like the Apostles, we need to be close to Jesus and allow Him to captivate our hearts and minds, and be steeped in His love. We want to think and act like He did. And to realise that there is nothing more precious in life than that! How privileged the Apostles must have felt when they were chosen to work for Christ. That same joy can be ours if we share their enthusiasm and try to be one with Him.

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending us Your Son. May the Holy Spirit inspire us to want to follow Jesus Who will lead us You.

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