In his letter to the Corinthians Paul came close to insulting them by pointing out that they were not of noble birth. Throughout Christian history a person without noble family connections hadn’t a chance in life. Check out the short biographies of your favorite saints, and you will see that to be true. You will read that although they were poor, they had noble blood lines.
To stay out of trouble in retirement I have been putting together stories of the saints, and the only one of them to fight his way out of his low birth was Saint Vincent. His family were serfs, and he himself had put in years as a slave; but he scrambled and scrambled, making himself useful to upper class people. Then, the saintly Cardinal Pierre Berulle won Vincent the permanent position as chaplain to a noble family.
When he no longer had to kiss the feet of nobles. Vincent stood up and renewed his alliance with the peasants and the galley slaves.
I grew up in an America where we treated blacks as poorly as Europe treated its lowborn men and women, and I am only gradually coming to see how stuck up I was.
Changing the subject for s few moments, let me tell you about how on my morning walks I have been going over the beautiful phrases in the first chapter of John’s Gospel. One sentence says, “What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.”
Where it says that life came to be through him I like thinking John was saying that intelligent life came through him.
And where it says “This light was the light of the human race” I think John was saying that from the intelligence of the Word we all receive the gift of conscious life.
We think of our conscious streams of thought as belonging to us, but we lose them temporarily in sleep, and permanently in death.
Anyway, as we were riding in on Beach Blvd today we passed an old black man riding a bike, and it occurred to me that with both of us sharing that same gift of conscious life. He on his bike, and me in my passengers seat were both riding along feeling quite independent in our thoughts. While, in fact, we were both sharing in that light coming from him who is life itself.