1 Corinthians 16:23-24
The Lord Be With You…
In today’s verse, there is a glimpse of the same words used at Mass:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Corinthians 16:23-24, NAB
Just as our priests today tell us in Mass, Paul was praying for the grace of the Lord to be with the people of Corinth. Wholeheartedly, he wanted nothing more than to share the beauty of God’s love and grace with those people. While he may have reprimanded them at times, he did so out of love, hoping to bring the Corinthians closer to God.
At times, our spiritual leaders and fathers must reprimand us to get us back on the right track, but they take no joy in it. I can only imagine how a priest must feel when he sees his parish falling to sin. They will try to help us correct our paths, and they do so out of love. They might do it from the pulpit or the confessional, but their goal is always the same – to bring us back to grace.
In my very own life, I have experienced this first hand. I was living a life that I knew was wrong. I chose to ignore what I was being taught, and I did things my own way. Numerous times, I heard the pastor of our church speak from the pulpit on the subject, and it felt like he was talking directly to me. Over and over, I ignored him, until one day, when the guilt I felt overcame me. Finally, after all of that struggling, it was time to make a change.
My life, I feel, is back on track. Thanks to the wonderful priests at my parish, I was able to find my way back home to Him again. Next time you feel convicted by what is being said at the pulpit, take the time to figure out why. Our priests, bishops, and deacons are not trying to judge you in any way, but, like Paul, they simply wish the grace of Jesus on your life. They do so out of love, even if we cannot see it at first.
Originally, my plan was to simply do one verse a week, but there were those who asked for more. Three months ago, I began an effort to bring you a Daily Bible Verse. Since Pentecost, June 12th, we have been going over 1 Corinthians, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. It is amazing to think that it took over 3 months to get here. Now, as we come to the end of 1 Corinthians, it is time to move onto another book of the Bible. For that, I have chosen to go over the letters of Peter, our first pope. I thought it would be good to compare what he wrote to what we just learned from Paul in 1 Corinthians. Stay with me as we move to this new phase of the journey. Thank you, as always, for reading along.