Sept 3, 2016
St. Gregory the Great
1 Cor 4:6b-15; Ps 145:17-21; Luke 6:1-5
Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Gregory the Great, Pope & Doctor of the Church. He is considered one of the 4 great doctors of the Latin Church. St. Gregory was a true shepherd as he strengthened the faithful by writing extensively on moral and theological subjects, cared for the poor and instituted liturgical reforms and Gregorian chant. He is the patron saint of music. The Lord took St. Gregory home on March 12, 604.
In the first reading from 1 Corinthians St. Paul offers spiritual advice to the Corinthian church as well as us today. This community of believers had been blessed with many gifts (spiritual & material) and St. Paul is warning them to stay humble as he tells them, “None of you should be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another.” The word inflated from the original language is actually “puffed-up.” Like the type of fish in the ocean that inflates itself where it seems it will burst. Well, St. Paul is telling his readers then and now to not be “puffed-up” with pride like that fish. But rather stay humble and realize that all gifts are from God and not our own doing.
St. Paul goes on and tells them to imitate himself and the Apostles in humility as they are, “A spectacle to the world…fools for Christ…and the world’s rubbish.” St. Paul and the Apostles served the Lord Jesus in humility for the good of the Kingdom no matter what people thought of them or how they were treated and we should follow their example.
In the Gospel Jesus referring to Himself, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” He is saying to not worry so much about the letter of the Law but be in humility be more concerned with the Spirit of the Law – which is love of God and love of neighbor following His example.
So the message for us today is to not be “puffed-up” with pride but instead realize that all that we have, all that we have accomplished or will accomplish is a gift from God. When we realize this and remember it, it prevents us from being “puffed-up” with pride. It helps us to stay humble in imitation of Christ. It helps us to be good stewards of all of our gifts. And it helps us to be more concerned with the spirit of the Law of God, which is sincere, sacrificial love.