1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Brothers, I myself was unable to speak to you as people of the Spirit: I treated you as sensual men, still infants in Christ. What I fed you with was milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it; and indeed, you are still not ready for it since you are still unspiritual. Isn’t that obvious from all the jealousy and wrangling that there is among you, from the way that you go on behaving like ordinary people? What could be more unspiritual than your slogans, ‘I am for Paul’ and ‘I am for Apollos’?
After all, what is Apollos and what is Paul? They are servants who brought the faith to you. Even the different ways in which they brought it were assigned to them by the Lord. I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow. Neither the planter nor the waterer matters: only God, who makes things grow. It is all one who does the planting and who does the watering, and each will duly be paid according to his share in the work. We are fellow workers with God; you are God’s farm, God’s building.
Leaving the synagogue Jesus went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.
At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them. Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’ And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.
Each will duly be paid
Few years ago, a fun application on Facebook kept popping up from my friends’ updates. It was about how much you are worth and should be paid every month by your employer. I did not try the application myself but it was fun to see that most of them (if not all) were worth much more than their monthly paycheque. It will either be really depressing that you are under paid or you just laugh it off for the fun. So how much are we really worth? We are probably not going to talk much about material worth because you can just check the salaries guide wherever you are at, and most would feel that you are being overworked and underpaid. What is our spiritual worth?
Each and every one of us has different skills and interest. We may have taken the same exam papers during our studies but the work environment and work skills developed over the years will change our perspectives and behaviours. As mentioned in today’s reading, we have been planted with textbook knowledge, our teachers and parents have nurtured us to become leaders, then who makes us grow as a person, one who is able to judge right and wrong, what is valuable and what is not? The spirit in us sometimes seems so abstract even for us to believe that it is He who is working in us. We lost track of who watches over us. We so often think that successes came from our good decisions making, and negative effects are tests from our Father.
The reminder we are given today is, we are nothing without God. The world and man have no idea our worth. The attractiveness of someone is not his car or her diamonds, but the heart in us. The spiritual beauty of purity and humility, and exemplifies the love of Christ through us. We can find comfort that God pays us what we are worth, not a penny less, not a penny more. We do not submit to the big bosses behind the head office desks, but give reverence to the Eucharist at the tabernacle. What is truly in us gives us so much more power than what is being presented out there in the visible world. We have to trust in God to rid the devils in us, and yet we continue to make the mistake of taking what is visible to us out in the world as the ‘Gospel Truth and Worth’. Yes, our jobs can overwhelm us and problems in the family can make us weary, but perhaps take every Sunday Eucharistic celebration to another level and dig deep into ourselves. Be comforted with the Body of Christ and begin each week recharged and renewed, we are priceless in the eyes of our Father.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)
Prayer: Little do we know the worth of ourselves, may the Holy Spirit reveals itself in its mysterious ways and bring us back to the path of everlasting life.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O Lord for the great friendship among my brothers and sisters in Christ, surrounded with Your love, all in the same mind in attaining a strong spiritual worth.