Thoughts on the Second Reading – Joe Frankenfield
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Driving back from a family gathering (not yours or mine, of course) occasions a lot of post game commentary. Why do they let their kids run wild like that? I could never be married to that man; he’d drive me nuts. Can you believe how much they spent on that couch? Those two shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Families are strange things. The cliché that you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them is true. Most everyone, at some time, wonders if they weren’t adopted or wish that they could prove that a switch had been made in the hospital. Yet, for most of us, family is one of the most precious things we’ve ever known. In them we learned to be human. They gave us our deepest values. It’s them that we count on when everything falls apart.

Many years ago I was complaining to Bishop Ken Untener, the bishop of Saginaw at the time, about some priest that I was upset with. He replied, “You know, a diocese is like a farm, you can’t just fire Johnny if he can’t milk cows. He’s part of the family. You have to find something that he’s good at.” Of course, a couple years later when he was complaining about someone, I reminded him of the diocese’s likeness to a family farm. He suggested I remember who was the bishop at the table and who wasn’t and pass the bread.

Quirks and blind spots plague us all. When all is said and done, we all try to do our best – sometimes we get it right. We’re convinced that we know how God wants us to believe and live. Still, truth be told, we decide specifics without benefit divine cue cards. Regardless of how badly we think someone else is messing things up, we can grant that he or she is probably trying to do well. If it’s true of us, why not of them?

Maybe after getting up from the table and passing out our good-by hugs we could be a bit easier on one another traveling home.