As we are leaving this month behind, we prepare ourselves for February. We start this month with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord or “Fiesta de la Candelaria” (February 2). Also, February 14 is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The second reading of St. Paul to the Corinthians might be difficult for some to understand, especially if you are married. Allow me to give you a little background about that reading. The passage comes from a section of the letter where Paul is answering one of several questions he received in a letter from the Corinthians. This question is about marriage. Somehow the Corinthians decided that marriage was not a holy thing and it would be better to live a life of celibacy. In Paul's answer he first affirmed the value of marriage. However, though he stressed it is not for everyone he also wanted to affirm the value of celibacy. In today's passage he is addressing those who were not yet married or who were widowed and points out the advantages of remaining in such a state. The early Church, including Paul, thought Jesus was going to return very soon and the world would come to an end. To quote Paul, he said, “time is short” and “the world as we know it is passing away.” If it sounds as if Paul is overemphasizing the spiritual advantages of celibacy, consider how you might view things in your life if you thought that in a very short time the world would end and Jesus' return was imminent. Your priorities would probably change considerably.
Fr. Alex Ureña