Brothers and sisters, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it. Indeed, you are still not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh. While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and walking according to the manner of man?
Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men? What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Paul sounds a bit frustrated with the Corinthians as they claim to owe allegiance to himself or to Apollos. They just don’t get that this is about God become human in the person of Jesus Christ. It sounds like Paul has been trying to get them to understand this for a long time. At the same time, Paul does admit that he and Apollos are God’s co-workers.
Ignatius Loyola was also totally focused on God in the person of Jesus. Coming to know the person of Jesus and God’s love for us is what the Spiritual Exercises are all about. Because of Ignatius’ total centeredness on God in the person of Jesus, he even dared name his newly formed group after Jesus.
Ignatius also firmly believed that God calls us to be in the world as co-workers, co-creators of the world. When I consider this, it occurs to me that the way I approach each person in my day does play a role in how that person experiences God’s creation. I can help create an experience of love and care, or one of disregard and apathy. My actions and words are part of creating the world for others and for myself.
Throughout this day, may I see and hear and think with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and may I speak and act and will with the love of God.
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
Above all trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you: your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Excerpted from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, © 1993 Institute of Jesuit Sources, St. Louis MOPlease share the Good Word with your friends!