Scripture: Lectionary 468. Tuesday, Oct. 15. Romans 1:16-25. Psalm 19:2-3,4-5. Luke 11:37-41
Today Paul confronts the arrogance and supercilious who do not have any concept of God. They are content with their own way of knowing and living; their philosophic outlook is oblivious of the existence of God as Creator. Nature cries out in its beauty and power to point to God as Paul affirms. Still they, perhaps, the forerunners of Gnosticism, continue in the specious speculations and in their idolatries of self made gods whom they can control. Paul is displaying his underlying frustration with such “thinkers.”
Though he knows the best of their philosophers, he realizes that they are not they ones whom they follow. It is again their own foolish wisdom that continues to feed their egos and their selfishness. Paul tells us they “stultified themselves through speculating to no purpose; they did not glorify or give thanks to God; they practiced unclean acts of lust and exchanged the truth for a lie.”
Paul leads us into offering praise and thanksgiving to God and even ends his first part of the letter with a blessing prayer honoring God: “ The Creator, blessed be he forever. Amen.”
Paul assures us that wholesome thinking and justice are the fruits of faith. The deepening of that gift from God comes about by appreciating the glory of God’s creation seen in the universe and the world. God goodness is diffusive of itself whether we realize it or not, but if we do, our faith is strengthened and deepened.
No wonder that Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is the basis for ecumenical dialogue and for Jewish-Christian dialogue (Romans 9-11). Even those who would read Romans in a casual or literary manner would profit from its contents. Blessed be God forever. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.