Weekly Reflection - 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 15, 2018


What is an Apostle really? Frankly, the impression we get from the New Testament hardly permits us to claim that these men were great or ingenious in the worldly sense. It is difficult even to count them “great religious personalities,” if by this we mean bearers of inherent spiritual talents. John and Paul were probably exceptions, but we only risk misunderstanding them both by overstating this. On the whole, we do the Apostle no service by considering him a great religious personality. This attitude is usually the defining of unbelief. Personal importance, spiritual creativeness, dynamic faith are not decisive in his life. What counts is that Jesus Christ has called him, pressed his seal upon him, and sent him forth….

An Apostle...is one who is sent. It is not he who speaks, but Christ in him. In his first Corinthian epistle Paul distinguishes nicely between the instructions of “the Lord” and what he, Paul, has to say. The Lord’s words are commands; his own, suggestions (7:12). The Apostle is filled with Christ, saturated with thought of Christ; the Lord, whom he represents, is the substance of his life. What he teaches is not what he has learned from personal “experience” or “revelation”; it is God’s Word, uttered upon God’s command: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Mt 28:19-20). To this end alone has the Apostle been called, and his very limitations seem an added protection to the truth he bears.

—Servant of God Monsignor Romano Guardini


























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