Meditation for Oct.19, lectionary 471: Ephesians 1:11-4. Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-18. Luke 12:1-7
Our Gospels are the Good News about Jesus and he is Good News in himself who brings us his messages and teachings of healing and salvation each day. We are nourished in our prayers and meditations by the word of God found in the Four Gospels. They are at the center of salvation history that is the whole story of the Bible for us. We try to see ourselves in these passages and then apply them to our spiritual life and its needs each day. It is a marvelous form of prayer practiced by most monastics and vowed religious. This has caught on with the laity and this is Great Good News.
Ephesians is a circular letter similar to an encyclical since it is intended for all of the early Christian churches throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. We are announced as chosen by Jesus Christ. Through our faith we are able to enter deeply into the mystery of Christ and understand his Good News. Ephesians does this so well and makes it a community calling for us in Christ Jesus. This writing is an excellent church document from the first century therefore the “we” of people in community is stressed. The context of the whole epistle is ecclesiological showing that we belong to Christ as a community of believers. Jesus has told us that wherever two or three of us gather together in prayer there he is in our midst.
The Holy Spirit is mentioned in our selection for today. “We are sealed with the Holy Spirit who has been promised.” And in Luke’s passage we are able to cope with any opposition. The Holy Spirit will be mentioned in tomorrow’s liturgical reading of Luke. The Spirit guides us when we are rejected and opposed for our beliefs and values.
God does not leave us alone but has given us an Advocate and Helper, the Holy Spirit. We will be able to be silent or to respond to our hostile opponents through this Person of the Trinity.
Just as the Epistle of the Ephesians is meant for the universal Church of the first century, Luke’s entire Gospel is a universal call to holiness and faith in a community of believers of the Good News. God’s providential care is given to us always in the history of our personal salvation and that of our communities of faith. We should fear nothing for Jesus assures us his care for even the birds of the air is nothing in comparison with his loving care for us. Even our hairs are numbered! (Well, that includes those who have no hair). Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.