THE APOSTOLIC WAY
“To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law—though not being myself under the law—that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law—not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ—that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in it (ἵνα συγκοινωνὸς αὐτοῦ γένωμαι, become its communicant).” (1 Cor 9: 20-23)
Today, as those of us on the Older Calendar celebrate the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, I’d like to ask myself, once again, what it means to be a Church that is “apostolic”; more specifically, I’m asking, what makes us, as Church, “apostolic” (because “Church” is not an abstract, but a lived reality, made manifest in Her members). And one of the ways in which we are “apostolic,” I’m thinking, is to be the way the Apostles were, and the way St. Paul was, as expressed above. He did “it all,” becoming “all things to all men”: as one weak to the weak, as a Jew to the Jews, as one outside the law to those outside the law, – for the sake of the gospel, that he himself might “share,” or not be excluded from communion, in it. Today, as back then, many would call St. Paul quite the “flip-flopper,” constantly annoying to one church-political party or another.
Be that as it may, let me “share” as St. Paul did, to the extent to which I am given, that I may have communion in the gospel, and in a Church “apostolic.” Holy Apostles, pray to God for us!