16th Sunday of Ordinary Time
This Sunday, the second reading will be from Ephesians 2:13-18. I’d suggest reading the other readings. It’s Lectionary #107, if you’re reading from a hard copy.
This section is primarily addressed to the Christians who were once Gentiles. It speaks of how the Messiah is able to reconcile all people in himself, not just the Israelites.
This was kind of a big deal in the early Christian church. The idea that God might have reconciled people from every nation was revolutionary in the Jewish community.
And in some ways we need to take a lesson from this, in the same way as the early Jewish Christians.
I will be among the first to tell you that the divisions among Christians is a tool of the devil, but it is important that we be able to rise above it and reach out toward one another in Christian Love, and to reach together out toward the world in that same spirit of love.
It may be that we know that they lack the fullness of truth, the early Jews also had to square with that as far as the gentiles were concerned. The gentiles lacked an understanding of the history of Israel, and as such were at a massive disadvantage for understanding the early Christian faith in its entirety, because they lacked an understanding of its Jewish roots.
The former Jews in the early church had hard work to be obedient to the spirit of Paul’s words. He said that “[Christ] created in himself one new person in place of two.” This statement would have strongly challenged the Jewish Christians to truly behave as though they were of one body with the gentile converts.
We are likewise challenged to behave in a spirit of brotherly love toward Christians who - somewhere along the way - have gotten the wrong idea about something.
It is the will of Christ that all Christians be one - he prays for it, in fact, and between now and the time unity among Christians exists in its fullness, it is our responsibility to behave with brotherly love toward Christians who are not Catholic.
Lord God, who is able to reconcile all things in yourself, help all Christians to be reconciled to one another. Help us all to behave in ways that we all experience the love that can only be had through our unity in Christ, and that we may come to seek that unity more and more, both in prayer and in action.