Scripture: Lectionary 474. Ephesians 2:12-22. Psalm 85: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14. Luke 12:35-38
We are again exhorted to live out a noble life dedicated to the gifts of love and faith that our ours through God’s grace. Ephesians continues to strengthen our baptismal commitment and our belonging to the Body of Christ, the Church. Both the Jewish and Gentile converts are called to share equally in the Church. Paul sees his own work among the Gentiles bringing in the harvest of persons for the communities of faith he is building in the Middle East. He trusts that Peter and the other apostles are doing their ministries of preaching and teaching with the same zeal and fervor that he has.
Paul tells us, “It is he (Jesus) who is our peace, and who makes the two of us one by breaking down the barriers of hostility that kept us apart. Jesus came and announced good news (the Gospel) of peace to you who were far off, and to those who were near; through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”
Paul is continually developing the early understanding of what it means to be the People of God, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ—all are different names for the community and the believers within it. For Paul the Church is a living organism not an institution. It consists of the language of I and Thou and the use of we and us in speaking to one another and working together to build up the Body of Christ.
Paul in Ephesians is showing the greatness and nobleness of our call to be the Church. Apostles, teachers, evangelists, prophets are among the many gifts that God gives to the call to be Church. All of these gifts center on the capstone who is Jesus (see Psalm 118 for the expression of capstone). We are the living stones upon which the rest of the Church is built. “Through him the whole structure is fitted together and takes shape as a holy temple of the Lord; in him you are being built into this temple, to become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.” Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.