I read the texts set for Sunday Mass, and wondered about this little bit from I Corinthians. What is that doing there? What relation does it bear to the rest of the readings? And what could possibly be said on the basis of these few introductory lines of St Paul's? Teasing out the connections between the passages I leave to the experts: surely those experienced in preaching (which I am not) would be able to say something wise and faithful about the Big Picture these texts paint. I have only an observation to make: that the readings all point us to the central feature of the life of God's people, the apostolic mission. To be a part of the people of God, whether in Israel or as a member of the Body of Christ, is to be called and sent as a witness to the world of the love of God and God's desire to save.
What differs about our lives as we follow Christ is the context in which we embrace this calling. Teaching, parenting and being married all afford opportunities for faithfulness that were simply not available to me as a twenty-something with my life ahead of me and what seems now like all the freedom in the world. The radical obedience that Christian faith requires is going where God leads, and being faithful where God calls us to be. And that obedience is no less radical at forty-something, waiting on God as I do chores or prepare lectures, than it was in weekend prayer vigils or community living at twenty-something.