1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Poor Paul!  The Corinthians drove him crazy.  Much like many dioceses today, the Corinthians were confident that they were way ahead of the curve and had "grown" beyond the unsophisticated notions of Paul.  One man was sleeping with his stepmother and (no doubt guided by the ingenious explanations of moral philosophers from seminaries in the Archdiocese of Boston), they were, said Paul, "proud" of this rather than being ashamed.  So Paul chews them out with some rather elementary moral point and one stunning and unexpected exhortation:  He doesn't (as we tend to) say, "Ah HA!  So now we see what you are really like, you sinners."  He says instead, "Become what you really are."  Sin is not what we are really like.  What we are really like is revealed in baptism.  The sinful Corinthians were washed, sanctified, and justified.  Now they must become who they are.  So must we.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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