…abundance of the revelations. 08Jul2018

St. Paul’s  second letter to the Corinthians contains his famous thorn in the flesh statement but notice his reasoning for this thorn:That I might not become too elated, because of the abundance of the revelations.” He is telling us how difficult it is to resist the Pride and Self-Importance that can accompany the calling and grace of the Holy Spirit to be Christ’s presence to others.

We do not know the abundance of the revelations he was given when he was struck down by the Light of Christ. He must have been infused with great knowledge because his letters are the source of much of our Theology. He could easily become pompous and haughty but God protects him from falling into that trap with the thorn in the flesh and Paul himself, with great humility, recognizes God’s providence.

Each of us—clergy, religious or lay—is susceptible to the same trap. Each of us became at Baptism priest, prophet and king to live our Faith and share it with others. Regardless of how we serve Christ and His Church, it would be easy to find Pride in our accomplishments—even though they do not belong to us. They are Christ’s and so, to keep us from that dreadful sin of Pride, Christ seldom shows us our fruits.

Ezekiel, in the first reading, was sent to Israel to be their prophet, being told by God they would most likely not listen to him. Jesus, also, had the same difficulty with His own neighbors: “What kind of wisdom has been given Him?”

Each of us has a calling from Christ by virtue of Baptism. Our vocation is to share our gifts for the Glory of God, to do it filled with Joy and to expect no recompense, adulation or appreciation—except from God.

Deacon Richard

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