Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27
Has this happened to you? You get your Mobile ‘phone bill; the amount is astronomical! You call the ‘Phone Provider, you are placed on a queue; wait time…35Mins. ‘Your call is important to us!’ After 40 mins, the error is rectified, then you are asked to complete a survey, because ‘feedback’ helps in improving their Service! Need I say more?
Our society thrives in a negative way on criticism, yet there is a deep desire for ‘feedback.’ Our high tech’ world is an open playing field for negative criticism, and it has some addictive elements.
In the Gospel today, we see the results of an empty and critical way of living. Being quick to pick the faults in others, while being blind to our own; this way of ‘seeing’ others, and ourselves can be addictive, negative and undermining of the goodness in others.
In the first Reading from St. Paul, he reminds us of wholesome ‘Christ Centered’ Spirituality, which opens us to seeing the endless positive attributes in people. This Spirituality is based on an awareness, that it’s the love of Christ which impels us! It’s a realistic way of letting go of our own ‘ego’ and celebrating the true meaning of a two-way ministry.
Christ centered Spirituality is challenged by narcissism. Giving into this spiritual cancer, can destroy others and ourselves, through control, power, and arrogance.
Let’s be mindful of a great maxim of St. Paul: ’I can do all things through Him who gives me the strength.’
Kevin Walsh is a priest in the Diocese of Parramatta in Sydney. He has been formed in the Passionist tradition, and Ministers to the Aged, the Sick, the Dying and the Bereaved.