Tao of Paul 2


The Readings for the 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B2)

Volo autem vos sine sollicitudine esse.
I would have you to be without solicitude.

This picks up where the Tao of Paul left us last Sunday. I don’t think the Latin does as well with the Greek, though.  Sollicitudine… to solicit: as if one were doing charity work.  The Greek says St Paul wants us to be ἀμερίμνους amerimnousIn Greek the prefix “a” means simply “without” so we have a-merimnous or, without-merimnous. This word, merimnous, is verrry interesting, both in its meanings and its use in the New Testament.

Werry Intewesting.
Jesus says we’re not to be this about what to eat or what to wear because we’re worth more than sparrows or lilies. We’re not supposed to be this about tomorrow at all: it’s going to have it’s own troubles there anyway. Martha was this while her sister sat with Jesus. We’re not supposed to be this if the authorities arrest us. Doing this will not make us taller or let us live longer. Paul says, in Philippians that we’re not to be this over anything. But it gets used, as a word, the most times in this 7th Chapter of I Corinthians: 6 times in three verses the “merimn” root gets used.

Now, what’s it mean? Divided. Broken up into little bits.  Paul wants our mind focused on one thing: the Lord Jesus. Paul wants us to have single minds – not divided up into little compartments. In the Tao of Paul, Christian spiritual practice is about unity. Unity of the Mind, unity of the Mind and Heart, unity of Husband and Wife, unity of the Church, unity of the Church with Christ, Unity of Christ with us and the Father. Continual unity and reconciliation until God is all in all.

St Paul says elsewhere, do everything as unto the Lord: even your menial tasks and daily chores. All for Jesus. Loving your wife? All for Jesus. Teaching your children to play baseball? All for Jesus. Taking court stenography classes? All for Jesus.

And do not be anxious (divided) in your mind: Jesus gave you this task to do and it is he who will see you through it.

Do not be afraid, as we said yesterday: God’s got this.

All of our actions will flow out from this unity of mind, of being with Jesus, who is the Great I Am. This is the etymological root of “Authority” by the way: ek (out of) eimi (being, or am-ness). Since Jesus is the Great I Am incarnate, very being himself, in our unity with him we begin to share in his authority. This is not magic or anything like that. Our will, too, becomes subject to his. But St Catherine, for example, could command kings and the pope, himself! Calling herself a worthless servant, the servant of God’s servants, little daughter, or little sister, she could, at the same time, say to the Pope, “I command…” and no one thought it odd: because of her deep, mystical union, in mind and heart, with Our Lord. This is teaching with Authority. It only comes from one place.

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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