If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips. (R./)
I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them. (R./)
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake,
with the sight of your glory. (R./)
Jesus went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
The Resurrection is real
Paul stresses the importance of believing in the esurrection of our Lord. Without that we would have no hope of a future life, and without this our Christian faith would not only be false, but utter folly. Apparently some of his critics in Corinth were arguing that life on earth in spiritual union with Jesus was the whole message, and that bodily resurrection from death was impossible. Paul tells them in no simple terms that this is a wrong understanding of the gospel. With an eye to our heavenly future he urges us to grow into the image of the risen Christ by modelling our lives on Jesus.
Based on his resurrection faith, Paul can invite the community to live simple ordinary lives, showing love and kindness toothers just as Jesus did . He lived a frugal life of loving service and if we grow in his image, we will surely inherit eternal life.
It is right to honour Jesus as the Servant of all, for his purpose in life was "not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Yet, he also needed people to cooperate with him. He was at times dependent on the generosity of others, and Saint Luke actually gives the names of several women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, the wife of Chuza, and Susanna, and many others) who travelled with Jesus and helped in his work. They "provided for him out of their own resources" and this enabled him to serve many others. It is not stated whether Jesus sent out these women to preach the Gospel, but they surely played some active part in spreading his message and his outlook.
If even Jesus needed the service of others, we his followers certainly do too. We are called to serve, also called to welcome the services of others, because we need them as much as they need us. Serving others calls for generosity; letting ourselves be served calls for humility, recognising that others can bring to us what we do not have within ourselves.
As Paul saw so clearly, within the church, the body of Christ, we are all interdependent. The Spirit is at work in all our lives in different ways. We need others and others need us. We all have something to give and something to receive. Let us welcome the service of the Lord as it comes to us in and through those who journey with us and cross our paths.