Meditation and Questions for Reflectoin/Group Discussion
(Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalm 112:4-9; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16)
What it Means to Demonstrate the Power of God to Others
… with a demonstration of spirit and power. (1 Corinthians 2:4)
Christians are called to be kind and generous, to serve those in need, and to be honest and fair in all of their dealings. But that’s not at the heart of what sets a Christian apart. What really makes us different is our faith in Christ and our ability to demonstrate the power of God in this world. For without this, Christianity would be nothing more than a good philosophy.
St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that when he came to them, it was with these demonstrations of power so that their faith would rest on “the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). Now, we might think that these demonstrations of power were all miracles. And we’d be right—to a certain extent.
Certainly Paul performed some mighty miracles, but that doesn’t seem to be what he is saying here. The demonstrations that Paul writes about also include a revelation of “the mystery of God,” the message of “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1, 2). They include his preaching that we can know God personally, feel his boundless love for us, and begin to grasp all that he has accomplished for us through his Son, Jesus.
These demonstrations didn’t end with St. Paul. Every prayer time, every Mass offers us an opportunity to have our eyes opened to see Jesus more clearly. All we have to do is be alert and fix our hearts on him. All we have to do is ask the Spirit to help us, and we will get a new taste of God’s love.
So whenever you pray or receive the sacraments, try to sense the Spirit at work. You may feel love for Jesus rising up in your heart. You may feel moved to repair a wounded relationship or to tell your family that you love them more often. God wants to give us demonstrations like these so that we can all become greater witnesses to his power in the world.
“Come, Holy Spirit, and show me your power today!”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the readings and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- All the readings underscore the idea that Christianity is not a philosophy. It is all about relationships: our relationship with Jesus Christ and our relationships with others. The Lord’s words to Isaiah describe blessings that will follow our service to others. What are some of these blessings? What blessings have you received when you have gone out of your way to pray for and care for others?
- The responsorial psalm describes how we can be a light in the darkness to others. Share some examples in your life when others were a light to you. What part did they play in your growth as a Christian?
- We are often tempted to only consider how great a preacher St. Paul was. In the second reading, however, Paul paints a different picture of himself when he says, “I came to you in weakness and fear, and much trembling.” When it comes to our faith, this is a man many of us can identify with! But the source of his strength came from his relationship with the Lord and from the power of God that dwelt within him. In what ways are you also able to identify with Paul? What additional steps might the Lord be calling you to take to strengthen your relationship with the Lord?
- The Gospel contains a metaphor of light as well; this time it is described as a “light to all in the house.” If you were to focus only on your role in your family, who are the people and what are the situations in your family that need your prayer and God’s light? What can you do to be an even greater light in your family?
- Notice that the Gospel also says that the fruit of people seeing your light shine through “good deeds” is not to bring honor to yourself, but to bring glory to God. What practical steps can you take this week to draw friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others to the Lord through your “good deeds”?
- The meditation tells us that each of us, as Christians, is called to demonstrate the “power of God” to others, and describes some examples of what this can mean in our lives. What are some of these examples? How can you make them (and others) a normal part of your life?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace and the faith to accept his call to demonstrate his power to others. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.