But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The language in this reading is beautiful but easy for me to get lost in. But what strikes me upon this reading is the idea of community. We are all of one ‘body,’ yes, but moreso we have a responsibility to be for and with one another. I think St. Paul’s invites us to see how radically our idea of God has changed with a relationship to Jesus. Jesus Christ came to show us how to be with each other. Our disciplinarian image of God has faded away and we now must hold each other accountable to Gospel values.
Our community is one of the places we can see God most clearly when we are open to it but can often be a fractious place, too. We belong to God and to one another. Where does your community need you to lovingly speak truth to or for it today?
—Emily Schumacher-Novak lives in Milwaukee, WI, and works in Jesuit Higher Education and Ignatian Spirituality.
O Jesus, hear me. In your wounds hide me.
Let me never be separated from you.
—lines from the Anima Christi prayer