Scripture: Lectionary 470. Thursday, Oct. 17th. Romans 3:21-29. Psalm 130: 1-2,3-4,5-6. Luke 11:47-54
Paul refers to the prophet Habakkuk in stressing the virtue of faith. He uses oldest translation of the Hebrew text into Greek (Septuagint) and uses the word faith for the doctrine of faith in Romans 1:17. This theme will be the golden thread throughout this great epistle. Today I was led back to the prophet Habakkuk who said, “The righteous live by their faithfulness.” (Hab. 2:4). Paul says, “The one who is righteous will live byfaith.” (Romans 1:17).
Paul will develop the theme of faith based on the justice of God and directed to the person of Jesus who has redeemed us, that is, has justified us by his precious blood poured out for us on the cross. He states, “All are now undeservedly justified by the gift of God through the redemption wrought in Christ Jesus.”
Paul instructs us to center our entire life on Christ through faith in him as our loving Redeemer. There is no doubt Paul’s teaching is all about Jesus Christ and his love for us.
Faith is the key toward that love and baptism into Jesus Christ and his mysteries are the origin of our gift of faith. He will strengthen this through his emphasis on the Eucharist elsewhere in his writings. In his Epistle to the Romans he helps us to deepen our faith by understanding it and by sharing it with others in the Christian community of Rome and with others who do not believe but need our help. He will develop the life of Christ within us by confronting us pastorally when we need it and encouraging us at the same time. Paul’s convictions about Jesus and faith in Jesus extend to Jew and Gentile.
With Paul we know we all have sinned. Jesus, however, is our justification (our way to holiness). We are encouraged to live in the presence of God, of Jesus, and of those within our community of faith (the Church). Being aware of the Divine Presence is our thanksgiving, honor, and glory which we give to God and Jesus. They are our Creator and Redeemer. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.