In today’s First Reading Paul reminds us that the mission of the apostle is to put others first, and that invariable leads to the frustration of being put last. He describes the Christian communities he founded as his spiritual children, and every good father strives to give the best to his children. How many parents have worked overtime and given up opportunities for the sake of those they love? The apostle’s mission is very similar.
Whether we are on the receiving end or the giving end of this process, the correct response is humility. Humility helps us not lament our lot in life when it seems hard and thankless, and it also helps us remember that we are beneficiaries of everything, including our very existence. When everything is a gift from the Lord and acknowledged as such there’s no room for an attitude of entitlement. The Corinthians were put in first place by Paul and Apollos, but that should be a motive for thanking Our Lord, not boasting.
Take some time today to take stock of all you’ve received and all those who’ve put you in first place, and try returning the favor by putting others in first place in your own life.