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27th Week Wednesday - Oct 10

27th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 10-10-18
Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14 / Luke 11:1-4

The word "upstart" has two meanings. One is that it is a series of movements on the parallel or asymmetric bars, by which a gymnast swings to a position in which the body is supported by the arms above the bar, especially at the start of a routine.

The other refers to a person who has risen suddenly in rank or importance, and it may also have the connotation that he behaves arrogantly and fearlessly.

It can be said that St. Paul was an upstart of sort. He had been a persecutor and an enemy of the Church but after his experience on the road to Damascus where he experienced the Lord Jesus in the form of a bright light, he had a conversion and after some time he began preaching the Good News.

He even went to Jerusalem to meet up with the apostles to verify his teaching and he got the affirmation from them.

He certainly moved from persecutor to proclaimer in a short period of time and became a prominent figure in the early Church.

But as he stated in the 1st reading, he fearlessly (though not necessarily arrogantly) confronted Cephas (St. Peter) about his behaviour and his pretence with regards to eating with the pagans in the presence of the Jews.

St. Paul was certainly exposing himself to criticism for being an arrogant upstart but he understood the meaning of eating with others, regardless of whether they were pagans or Jews.

Because he saw the meal as the occasion where God the Father was feeding His people with the bread of love, a meal in which there is no distinction between pagan and Jews.

As we come to the Eucharist to partake of the bread of life and the meal of love, let us put aside all distinction between ourselves as well as all faction and contention.

As in the prayer that Jesus taught in the gospel: give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who is in debt to us.

So let us partake of the bread of life, let us share in the bread of forgiveness, and let us proclaim the love of God who gives us our daily bread of love. (SY)