Mass Reading & Meditation for June 14, 2013
Meditation: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
10th Week in Ordinary Time
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Pirates buried it in padlocked chests. Banks secure it in armored vaults. Museums guard it behind complex security systems. What is it? Treasure—the precious possessions, accumulated wealth, and stored riches of this world.
What a contrast to God, who deposits his treasure in common, ordinary containers! Isn’t it amazing that the light of the gospel resides in us, frail human “vessels” that can (and often do) live recklessly, act foolishly, or stand vulnerably? And all the time, God’s treasure remains secure.
Confident in the power of the gospel and relying on the working of the Holy Spirit, St. Paul didn’t have to go to great lengths to bring the Corinthians back to their first love for the Lord. Rather, he met them on the grounds of God’s love for them. Though they had challenged his authority and questioned the authenticity of his calling, Paul answered compassionately. He was sure that God could make up for whatever he lacked. He trusted that God could refocus the Corinthians on the truth.
We all need to believe this: God is more powerful and more enduring than any error in the world today. He is able to take your attempts to share the gospel and fill them with his grace. He is able to overcome people’s doubts and fears so that they can find his love. He is powerful enough that even though you don’t understand how he is working right now, you don’t have to feel exasperated or hopeless. He can still work in you and through you so that his kingdom can advance.
Even if you feel battered by every sort of distress, difficulty, or challenge, the treasure you carry inside is safe. Not only is it safe, it is still powerful enough to melt the heart of anyone you speak with. You don’t have to prove yourself. You don’t have to worry about correcting other people’s faults. All you have to do is love and serve compassionately. The Holy Spirit is more than able to defend the gospel, touch people’s hearts, and speak words of life to every earthen vessel you meet.
“Father, help me to speak the gospel in truthful simplicity today. I trust that your grace will accompany my words and make up for any lack.”
Psalm 116:10-11, 15-18; Matthew 5:27-32