Week 8: St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians Ch. 8:4; 10:25-26
Verse to memorize
“The earth and its fullness are the Lord’s”
So about the eating of meat sacrificed to idols: we know that there is no idol in the world, and that there is no God but one… Eat anything sold in the market, without raising questions on grounds of conscience, for “the earth and its fullness are the Lords.”
1.) Q: What is an idol? A: A man-made image or statue to which people ascribe god-like powers. In the ancient world of the Jesus, the Apostles and St. Paul, the Jews and the Christians knew that there is only one God. But the Roman official religion taught that there were many gods, sometimes one for each aspect of nature or each profession. So the early Christians lived in cities with many temples, one for each god. And their neighbors sacrificed animals to these imaginary gods made out of wood and metal. Then left over meat from the temple sacrifices was sold in the city markets. St. Paul’s Christian converts in Corinth wrote to ask him if they could eat such meat in good conscience. Q: What is St. Paul’s answer. A: Yes. Q: Why? A: Because idols are not real and meat, no matter where it came from, is a gift from God.
2.) St. Paul mentions “questions on grounds of conscience”. Q: What is conscience? A: Conscience is that small voice in our hearts that reminds us to only do what is right and good. Q: Have you everfelt your conscience nudging you, saying “maybe you shouldn’t do that” or “maybe you should do something that you don’t want to do”?
3.) Q: Do you recognize the quote in St. Paul’s answer to the Corinthians? A: Yes! It is the first verse of Psalm 24 which we studied in Week #4. Q: What is the “fullness” of the earth? A: All the people, animals, food, plants, etc. that the earth is full of.
4.) St. Francis of Assisi considered all of God’s creation his family in a sense. He called the sun — his brother; the moon — his sister; and the earth — his mother, because just like him, they all belong to God. Here is his prayer, the Canticle of the Sun: https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=183
Courtesy of The Bible Project