Commentary on the Gospel of
In the first reading today, Paul is in effect explaining to the Ephesians that all who are believers, Jews and Gentiles alike, are saved and are part of the same spiritual family. In Paul’s time, there was anti-Gentile sentiment based on some who considered the Gentiles to be inferior and unclean. Paul highlights that the Gospel extends hope and a relationship with God through Jesus that is open to all. He reminds the people of his time (and us today) that salvation in achieved on the foundation of grace through faith, and that while our human efforts for good works are encouraged and even expected, that our best intentions will never be enough for salvation.
Each of us have been marked with both deliberate and accidental sin and only through the intercession of the sacrifice of Jesus can we be saved. In this way there should be no room for arrogance or bragging or any cause for animosity among believers as we are all saved by the compassion and kindness of God. Let us always remember to see the best in each other—to see God’s light in each other—even in the midst of our human disagreements.
The idea of recognizing God’s face in others — indeed in all of our encounters — requires that we be vigilant to those opportunities. In the Gospel reading, Luke indeed reminds us to be vigilant. Our lives, particularly now, can be very challenging and often we can never be quite fully prepared for every event in our lives. It takes a deep breath of faith to stay ready and alert for the unexpected. But we can take comfort that in our consistent faith, we have a loving master at the ready to provide for our needs even in turmoil.
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