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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reflection on 1 Cor 10-12

What wonderful readings today! I'm going to focus mostly on how these readings can be used as an aid in Catholic Doctrine Apologetics.

A good portion of Chapter 10 and 11 focus on Christ's Sacrifice and our Eucharistic meal--THE CORE MOST CENTRAL DOGMA OF OUR FAITH! This is pretty much my reason for being Catholic, so I will enumerate on what this passage means for Catholics! In 10:16 Paul reminds us that we are indeed sharing in the "Body and Blood" of Christ. Here, sharing is from the greek "Koinonia", which literally means "to participate in". In 11:24-25 Paul again affirms, in the words of Christ, "This is my body... This is my blood... do this in remembrance of me". Here the greek for "remembrance" is "anamnesis", which literally means to "remember again". This does not mean that this is MERELY a memory, but that it should not be vainly done without remembering the sacrifice of Christ. While being support for the belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the ideas of Partaking and Remembering together hold support for what the Catholic Church holds the Eucharistic Celebration (the Mass) to be--an actual participation in the original crucifixion of our Lord! Whoah! By participating in the remembrance (re-presentation), and keeping in mind that God is outside of time and died for those in all times, we are actually making manifest Golgatha on the Altar. Additionally... why would Christ sacrifice himself, and then celebrate such a sacrifice if he did not want us to be there at Golgatha with him?

The second idea I want to touch on is the focus on chapter 11 and deals with "head coverings" which, for many modern day people, seems to be a point of contention with Paul. However, there is evidence that shows that, with respect to everything else the Corinthians sucked at, this was a relatively unimportant matter to Paul, and the Corinthians probably brought it up themselves. First let me say that Paul was not against women teaching in the Church, for he mentions women praying and prophesying (11:5). Rather, the point of this passage is two-fold: 1) to recognize proper authority within the Church and within relationships, and 2) to celebrate God-Given Differences in Sexuality! On point two: God created men and women different, and complimentary. Though we are equal, we are not the same. It is these very differences that make us compliment each other, and thus we have different gifts and roles (more on that in the next section). On point one: All genuine authority comes from God, therefore though in a traditional sense a man may be the head of the relationship as deemed by God, it does in no way demean the role of the woman. Both are mutually submissive (11:11-12) to each other and, though the man may be the head, the woman is definitely the heart of the relationship. A relationship cannot function without both.

Finally, let me speak on Spiritual gifts and the Body of Christ! This section of Chapter 12 has many implications for Catholic Doctrine. First, it forms the basis of Catholic Social Teaching and Solidarity--because we are all connected, we have an inherent duty to uphold the dignity, health, and well being of all our members. Secondly, I believe this aids in the support of Women not being priests. Paul reminds us that, not all are called be apostles, prophets, healers, etc. and yet it is that very difference that makes us beautiful. In reality, we don't choose our vocation, God does, and it is not our Right to be made holy by following God's will... it is our privilege. Therefore, though some women (and also some men) may have a desire to become a priest, it is not necessarily their calling. We are all called to minister in the way in which God can best use us, and even if that calling may be "lowly" we are assured that greater honor is given to the "inferior members" (12:23).

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