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Thursday of the Twenty First Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Matthew 24:42-51
God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our
Lord. They publish the fame of your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your jus-
tice. What are the steward's choices and consequences when the master is not pre-
Paul's observes in this letter that God's activity is chiefly comprised of bestowing
sanctifying spiritual gifts and issuing a series of "calls," to both the teacher, Paul, and to
the community in Corinth. Unlike the call-to-arms of a warrior king, who might promise
gifts in the form of freedom, favor, or plunder after the work is done and the battles are
won, Paul promotes the image of a Divine Leader who showers His extraordinary bless-
ings even before He calls His subjects together to respond to their marvelous good for-
tune. God is not transactional; He is overwhelmingly generous and calls us to notice that
attitude and employ it ourselves as we "wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ"
while we live as we "were called to fellowship with" that same Jesus. This is not an ex-
change of services between a regent and subjects, this is an open festival provided
freely for all by the King of Creation.
The Psalm with its refrain, "I will praise your name for ever, Lord," is exactly the sort of
response Paul might hope for from the people he is greeting in Corinth. It links the joy
and wonder in the Lord's goodness and power through endless generations, assuring the
people of the current hour that they have every reason to expect more of the same when
it comes to the blessings of God. The psalmist makes a point that the people "praise,"
"speak," and "discourse," amongst themselves of the mighty works and majesty of the
Lord. This leads them to "publish the fame of Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing
of Your justice."
To publish something in biblical times was a serious matter. There was no casual Face-
book banter written on the papyri or carved into the stone of obelisks. The sorts of
things that were preserved in "publication" then, would have been serious legal matters
and accounts of the mightiest deeds (many of them written as self-serving reminders to
the general population of which king could inflict the most pain). In the Psalm we have
the people themselves publishing their joy for a Lord who bestows upon them "abundant