Scripture: Lectionary 472. Oct. 20, Ephesians 1:15-23. Psalm 8:2-3.4-5.6-7. Luke 12:8-12:
Paul knows that the Churches he has founded and those that the Apostles have left behind are enlivened by the gift of faith and love—perennial and daily gifts given to all the faithful. John, too, in his Gospel and First Epistle structure the narrative about Jesus and his community with the words of faith and love. They are more than words; they are life-giving realities that come from the great redemptive act of love that Jesus showed all of us through his death and resurrection. “Greater love than this no one has than to give his or her life for her friends.” Perhaps, Paul puts these realities of the Christian churches into a noun form whereas John uses the dynamism of verbs.
We take a lesson from the Gospel that helps us do just the opposite of the rejection of Jesus and the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit with their effects seen in judgment. The Holy Spirit is necessary in these two precious God-given gifts of faith and love. Church means relationships of love and faith within a people gathering in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is a word that is used in Christian circles called KOINONIA. This describes what a community or church in Jesus’ name is all about. It means the action of having in common, sharing, and participating in. Faith and love are the heart and soul of Christian KOINONIA.
Faith and love are necessary in love relationships. This is the natural foundation on which the community of believers builds on to make this all inclusive in the way in which Jesus intended it to be.
This KOINONIA is found also in the Communion we share in the precious blood and body of the Lord. It means having the mind and heart of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. It even carries over into the symbolism meant by the collection or tithing within the community, the Church.
We are all called to be persons of trust and love for one another and for God. The church consists in I-Thou relationships, in” we” and “you” relationships and not simply he or she or they. Our Epistle throughout the most recent readings is all about the church. Perhaps, a good spiritual reading of the Epistle to the Ephesians would help us to appreciate what it means to belong to the community of believers, the Church. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.