Vicar’s Reflection: 28th June 2015, Ordinary Sunday 13

Generosity and equality are the hallmarks of St Paul’s words to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 8:7-15). He encourages his readers to respond to a collection for the ailing church in Jerusalem where there was a drought and much famine. The self-giving generosity of the relatively poor Macedonians is contrasted with half-hearted efforts of the wealthier Corinthians as a way of urging them on. The goal, he says is equality, so that those in need receive help and that those with abundance can share, because who knows when the tables may be turned? Paul urges the Corinthians to complete what they started, for the Corinthians, led by Titus, had initiated the collection but then had not followed through. Unlike the Macedonians, who firstly gave themselves to God then gave themselves whole-heartedly to the task of completing a substantial collection. In subtle ways, through complementing them on their speech and knowledge, Paul is challenging them to put their words into actions; their ‘money where their mouth is’. In the Gospel reading Jesus helps both a desperate and impoverished woman and a young girl from the lap of luxury. Equality and generosity! All humans are mutually dependent. We need each other and we should be willing to give of ourselves to one another in times of need. Today’s refugee may be tomorrow’s Nobel prize-winner, Archbishop or your daughter-in-law.

Alex Czerwonka

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