Scripture: Lectionary 485. Nov.4. Romans 11:29-36. Psalm 69: 30-31,33-34,36-37. Luke 14:12-14:
Paul combines the gift of wisdom with his experience in our first reading. He tells us “God’s gifts are irrevocable.” Then in the second part we hear him saying, “How deep are the riches and the wisdom of God! How inscrutable his judgments, how unsearchable his ways!” Unlike Job who tries to solve the mystery of why God permits certain things to happen, Paul goes right to the mystery of God’s love and mercy and shows us the deep things of God. We are at the heart of the mystery when we read and listen to Paul make these unbelievable and wondrous ways of God through the covenants and the faith we profess in them and in Jesus Christ. He shares his own experiences with us and thus teaches us a wisdom that goes beyond ordinary human wisdom.
Paul has been commissioned to do this through his conversion experience and his becoming an apostle by following the Lord Jesus through the formation that he receives from the other apostles and from Barnabas. He now writes with authority and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. His wisdom lives on in us as we hear the words of Paul in our liturgical celebrations this past week and this week.
We often need such clear statements that get our hearts moving and searching for the deeper things of life. Paul puts us on the right track in our journey with Jesus, the Lord.
God’s gifts are irrevocable! This is a wisdom saying that is consoling to both Jews and Christians in his time and all the more in our time when we do dialogue with one another about the permanency of God’s covenants in both testaments. We Christians need to see this unity among the covenants God has made throughout salvation history and not to boast or proclaim a supersession approach to saying our way is better. God plays no favorites and we all are in this together as children of the Creator and Redeemer.
The fact that Romans 9-11 is very much alive in Christian-Jewish Dialogue shows us that the experience of Paul and the wisdom with which he is inspired continues to live on and help us to see one another as brothers and sisters. It is fitting that we celebrate Vatican II fiftieth anniversary of the document Nostra Aetate which cites from these texts of Paul most of the references for the foundation of the content of the document. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.