September 7, 2016

Today's first reading:

Brothers and sisters:

In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord,

but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

So this is what I think best because of the present distress:

that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation.

Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife.

If you marry, however, you do not sin,

nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;

but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,

and I would like to spare you that.

 

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out.

From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,

those weeping as not weeping, 

those rejoicing as not rejoicing,

those buying as not owning,

those using the world as not using it fully.

For the world in its present form is passing away.

 

Quite frankly, I'm having a hard time making heads or tails of this reading. As a newly married man, I don't think acting as not having a wife is a good plan for anything.

My best guess for the heart of St. Paul's writing, then, is not that we are to throw off our commitments, morality, or emotions, of course, but rather an emphasis on the things we do not possess or control. God's time requires a submission of our will, as well as action. The ways we do things here below do not make sense or correspond to God's time, so it is necessary to respond, and respond radically.

Sometimes, the most radical response is patience. There is a wisdom in waiting, in savoring. As Fr. Mike Schmitz puts it in the video that I'm linking, "We will never ever encounter God in the future. We will never encounter God in the past. The only time we have to encounter God is in the present, in the moment."

Take 5 minutes and watch the video here: Letting God Take His Time

Praised be Jesus Christ, leader and inspiration of all priests.

Frassati NY