A Daily Readings Reflection
by Deacon Mike Manno
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
A football player from the Iowa Hawkeyes once told me that when you face difficulties you have two choices: You can throw up your hands and say, “Oh, God?” or you can throw up your hands and say, “Here, God!”
I think that is what Paul is telling us today in his first letter to the Corinthians – we need not be confused or overwhelmed if we face life with the Wisdom of God that is given to all; but, unfortunately, accepted by few. And this is especially true today when there are so many uncertainties around us; our economic world is upside down, politics has become a blood sport, and our response to the corona virus is confusing with medical experts contradicting one another on an almost daily basis.
So how does one answer? Despair, “Oh, God?” or in faith, “Here, God!”?
Paul give us that answer. “The natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.” In other words, as Jesus said to Peter in Sunday’s Gospel, “You are not thinking as God does, but as humans do.” Paul continues, “The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.”
Does that mean we have the power to change events, to change what has become disruptive in our lives? Well, in some cases yes but in others we are left with a fate unwanted and assumed to be undeserved. In those cases, those with faith will at least have the comfort that God’s will, God’s plans are larger than self and in accepting that we are conforming our will to his. In short Paul is asking us to take a higher view of our lives, engage in an ongoing spiritual conversion which is found in the spiritual dimension of our being.
Most of us live lives that are for the most part monotonous, routine, and predictable. Obviously there are highs – marriage, the birth of children, graduations – and there are lows – death, major illness, loss of job – all of which can be predicted by the natural man. It is, however, when we confront the lows, or the extraordinary circumstances such as in today’s world, that we really need to understand that we are not natural men but a spiritual nation, and as such turn our eyes upward, “Here, Lord, help me carry this burden.”
He’ll understand. After all, as the spiritual man understands, he has carried a burden for us once before.