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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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Pope St. Gregory the Great

1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Psalm 33
Luke 4:38-44

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a sense of belonging(s)

"When someone says, 'I belong to Paul,' and someone else, 'I belong to Apollos,' is it not clear that you are still at the human level?" —1 Corinthians 3:4

Belongings and belonging are driving issues for human beings. We want to own things. One of the first words a child learns to say is "mine." To acquire belongings, we will do almost anything. The Lord considers this stupid, even sinful. He assures us we already have all the belongings we need. He says: "All things are yours, whether it be Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or the present, or the future: all these are yours" (1 Cor 3:21-22).

Another pressing concern we human beings have is the need to belong. In the Corinthian Church, some said they belonged to Paul. Others said they belonged to Apollos, Cephas, or Christ (1 Cor 1:12). Everyone wanted to belong to someone. Paul declared that these people already belonged to Christ (1 Cor 3:23). They belonged to God in a unique way; they were a people peculiarly God's own (see Dt 26:18). Their need to belong was already fulfilled, although they weren't aware of it.

Once we realize that our need to belong and to have belongings are already fulfilled, we can stop wasting our lives trying to get what we already have. Instead, we can live for Christ in thanksgiving for providing all our needs in His perfect love.

Prayer:  Father, You have provided all I need (see Ps 145:16; Phil 4:19). I thank and adore You.

Promise:  "We are God's co-workers, while you are His cultivation, His building." —1 Cor 3:9

Praise:  Pope St. Gregory allowed God to provide for his needs by his reliance on God to help him build six monasteries by the age of thirty-five.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Divine Love on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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