Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Oct. 8th, Friday. Lectionary # 465.
Scripture: Lectionary 465. Galatians 3:7-14. Psalm 111:1-2,3-4. 5-6. Luke
Three themes appear in today’s holy readings of the word of God in our
liturgy of the word. First, faith is the theme Paul presents to us in the
Epistle to the Galatians. Then the Psalm gives us the theme of covenant
fidelity; third, the Gospel asserts the presence of the Holy Spirit when
there is need for us to overcome evil or Satan.
Paul reminds all of us that we share in the faith of Abraham, our father in
faith. He is the righteous one who lived by faith and gave us the great
example of how to put our faith in God. The very faith and trust that
Abraham had in God is what Paul bequeathes to us in this passage. God is
our inheritance and all three great religions share in that inheritance
through the father in faith–Abraham. Paul has opened the Scriptures to
the Gentiles and now those who are baptized realize they too are part of
God’s family. The Muslims also believe in God through Abraham who is the
father of faith for them. All three of these religions are aware of the
rock of Abraham in the mosque in Jerusalem and honor the memory of Abraham
through this sacred rock or relic.
For us Christians the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible affirms what we know about
Abraham. The Koran does the same for Islam. If we listen carefully to what
Paul is saying we learn that he sees us Gentiles as being called to have
faith in God through the paradox of Jesus dying on the Cross. This is at
the center of the Eucharist and the Paschal Mystery of the Lord Jesus.
First comes his suffering, then the Cross in the middle, and finally, the
Resurrection. Paul does not deny the sacred words of God in the Torah. He
sees the covenant is essential, the observances of the rituals and
practices are not the same for the Gentiles. The paradox of the Cross is
that it is a curse for the Jewish reader, but paradoxically, it is the
instrument of salvation for us, the Christian Gentiles.
In the second theme the Psalm itself is covenantal and it reminds us that
God is ever faithful to the promises that he has made to Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob. The Davidic covenant follows as well and the covenant we
Christians have through Jesus and his Paschal Mysteries. All of God’s
promises are kept. The gifts of God are without repentance, that is, they
are never abrogated. All of the true covenants that we share with God and
with one another are sacred agreements made through a faith response to
God’s call. God is our inheritance and he has measured out our lot in life.
(Psalm 16). Yes, as the response says, “The Lord will remember his
Luke is the Evangelist of the Holy Spirit and in the controversy Jesus has
with the leaders over the exorcism of the demons and evil, Jesus confirms
that he does this not under any foreign god nor under magical power. Jesus
casts out demons and evil by the finger of God (a symbol for the Holy
Spirit). Jesus by his union with his Father and the Spirit has absolute
power over all demonic evil and over sin. And that the kingdom has come
among us through the Holy Spirit is a sign that God’s power is at work now.