This weekend is Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of February beginning the Fifth week of Ordinary Time.

The choir of Westminster Cathedral sing Crucifixus by Antonio Lotti: “For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he died and was buried.”

In today’s reading St. Paul tells the Corinthians what it was like for him when he first spoke to them of the Good News of Jesus. This Paul brought faith to more people than anyone else and helped to shape what we now call Christianity...But here he tells a very real story of what it means to be Christian. Paul admits that all he brought them was news of this crucified Christ- and that he brought it in weakness and fear.

He doesn’t try to draw people by strength, confidence or even certainty...But instead shows who he really is to them – and so who Christ really is. To be Christian is to choose a God who became human, a God who chose to be vulnerable – a God who draws us to each other through our vulnerability. We are called to find ourselves- to be whole- to be as vulnerable as we are- and, in this vulnerability, this humanity, to find God.

So, take time now to listen to this part of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and notice how open he is to those who would call him ‘Saint’: his vulnerability and what it means for him to build this Church of God.

We are surrounded by a pressure to be strong and independent...as if to be weak is to be broken. How do you experience this pressure? Do you feel comfortable with it... or is it a strain?

St Paul recognises that, in speaking to the Corinthians, he was weak and fearful yet he continues this great task of demonstrating power in faith. Think of those times and ways in which you have felt weak and fearful...perhaps times when you have been under pressure to perform – how did this feel? How did you deal with this? Did the pressure overcome you or did you overcome it?

As people who choose this God of vulnerability we, like St. Paul, are drawn to follow Him in becoming fully human...becoming open, vulnerable and real. As you hear the reading again, try to think about what it means to be drawn to be more human, more vulnerable?
  
‘I am gentle and lowly of heart.’ This is the only description Jesus gives of Himself in the Gospels. Before we finish spend some time with the Jesus who is gentle and lowly. Picture Him with you- where you are now, in that time and place when you were most vulnerable, or perhaps alongside a homeless person or someone else who is vulnerable today. Talk to Him about those things that are most vulnerable in you today or just be with Him in your shared weakness.