God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.1 Corinthians 1:9
It’s 2020, so I doubt any parish is hosting coffee and donuts after Mass this weekend. But that’s not what St. Paul is talking about in today’s second reading (1 Corinthians 1:3-9) when he writes about fellowship (koinonia) with Jesus.
Koinonia is one of those Greek words that registers all kinds of meaning that never quite translate into a single English word. More’s the pity for us, because our culture could use a good dose of all these elements rolled into one place: partnership, fellowship, communion, participation, common purpose.
God is faithful.
God graciously invites us into partnership, fellowship, communion, participation, common purpose—and at the same time, he equips us with every gift and grace necessary to roll up our sleeves and dive into the fun. And yes, this “fun” also involves work and suffering. St. Paul perhaps alludes to suffering endured by the community when he writes about “to martyrion” “the testimony” to Christ in their midst (verse 6). He definitely speaks about the gifts that have been given to the members of the community who are “enriched in every way” (verse 5). I find it especially interesting that St. Paul calls out the gifts of “discourse and knowledge” which are two traits of a good communicator. All these gifts are given for the building up of the community. We are equipped with various gifts which are meant to be put at the service of our brothers and sisters.
God invites us—each one specifically, all of us together—into partnership, fellowship, communion, participation, common purpose in Christ Jesus. To the extent that we accept this invitation we are enabled to communicate the Gospel with the witness of our lives.