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Word of Life – 1Cor 10:20-21 (15/1/2017 – 29/1/2017)

“No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God.

I do not want you to be participants with demons.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.

You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”

Reflection on 1Cor 10:20-21

No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God.
I do not want you to be participants with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.
You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

The word “No” refers to the preceding verse which asks: “Is an idol anything?” So a wooden idol as such is nothing; it just symbolizes a demon.

As for sacrifices offered to these idols made of wood, metal or other material, the Scripture says that food or whatever else that is offered to them is by no means offered to God but to demons. The Word of God testifies that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God.

It is good to read carefully chapter 10, verses 1-21. It recounts how God through Moses led the Israelites in a miraculous way across the Red Sea from slavery in Egypt. It says that they were all spiritually united to Moses, and it also points out the mystery of their unity with the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. Christ had not yet come in the flesh as the Saviour, but being the Second Divine Person, He is in the same Godhead with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

How pride manifests itself

Let us trace back to early childhood. You can ask yourself: How did pride manifest itself? Some children behaved in a stubborn way when they did not get what they wanted, some indulged in self-pity (usually highly sensitive children). You can also recall your behaviour towards other children. As early as then, the basic form of ego manifested itself, adapted itself or altered its appearance but it was true both then and now: Alas! The others around me are better than me – jealousy. And this manifests itself even if we follow Jesus: competitiveness, comparing with others, sadness or bad mood if I am not who I want to be. For the most part I am not interested in who God wants me to be and what His plan for my life is.

Humility

Of all people, the Virgin Mary is the supreme model of humility. The Lord Jesus, God and Man, said: “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” He said clearly that this is what we should learn from Him. He clearly demands it from us. We should practically deny ourselves, accept our cross and follow Him humiliated, abandoned and crucified. Humility is the basis of all virtues. The opposite of humility is pride which leads to eternal death, while humility is the key to heaven. Humility overcomes the devil and the old self in us. Different forms of jealousy, comparing with others, competitiveness even in spiritual life, sadness when someone is successful – this all is a sin of pride! We need to humble ourselves in thoughts time and again. But then we need to do so in words, deeds and gestures as well. Sadness is often a sign of preoccupation with ourselves, failure to achieve our plans or dreams etc.

How to carry our cross

The enemy of God attacks in order to destroy the work of God, Christianity, to steal Christ – the life of God – from the souls and to lead them to eternal damnation. His attacks are from both without and within and have a meaning. We need to see them as a cross to be borne. The carrying of this cross is the will of God. However, before we can carry this cross, we need to deny ourselves. Jesus first demands: “Deny yourself!” and only then He adds: “Take up your cross!” To deny oneself means to be poor in spirit, to be humble.

Word of Life – 1Cor 6:19-20 (1/1/17 – 15/1/2017)

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,

whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body

and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Reflection on 1Cor 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price;
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

This verse is preceded by verse 18 which says: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” A fight against sexual immorality requires heroism, especially with a young person. We can call it literally bloodless martyrdom. The saints recommended several principles. For example, in fuga salus – salvation in flight. Another motto was: principiis obsta – resist the beginnings. Jesus says concerning this: If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off; if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye or one hand than having two eyes or hands, to be cast into the everlasting fire.

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Word of life

“No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”

1Cor 10:20-21 (15/1/2017 – 29/1/2017)

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