1 Corinthians 4:6b-15
Psalm 144:17-18, 19-20, 21 (R. 18a)
Your Father in Christ Jesus
“I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me” (1 Cor 4:14-15). Saint Paul speaks clearly of the grace of spiritual fatherhood. He recognizes that he has become the father in Christ of the members of the Church at Corinth, his beloved children. Spiritual fatherhood is realized through the Gospel, that is, through the “word of the Cross” (1 Cor 1:18). By planting the word of the Cross in souls, the priest becomes more than a “guide in Christ” (1 Cor 4:15); he becomes a father.
A Costly Grace
Spiritual fatherhood does not come cheaply; it is a costly grace. Saint Paul rehearses exactly what his fatherhood of souls has cost him:
“We are fools for