We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Today is Thursday, the 7 November, in the Thirty First Week of Ordinary Time.
One Hope Project sing a song based on Romans 5 verse 8: As you enter into prayer today, begin by holding onto the truth that no one is too lost, broken or distant to be healed by Jesus…
Today’s reading is from the Letter to the Romans.
If one were to choose a word to summarise the content of today’s reading in one word, it might be ‘interconnectedness.’ We are all connected: to each other and above all to and in God. If we are connected together in the way St Paul envisages then there is no such thing as something happening in the world which doesn’t affect me directly. How does this idea make you feel?
On one level St Paul seems rather blasé about the prospect of death; it is of no matter to him because whether he lives or whether he dies he is in the Lord. For most of us that would seem a big ask. However, if we are to be true disciples of Jesus we must learn not to be too attached to anything. What are the things you have become too attached to or reliant upon that you need to let go of, to move closer to Christ?
Listen again to the reading, try and pay particular attention to the end of the reading where we are all accountable to God; we will all stand before Him in judgment. Is there anything that troubles you when you hear this?
So often Christians are associated with being judgmental. Whole sections of our community can – at times – feel judged by the Church. As this time of prayer draws to a close, perhaps you could ask God how to show his love to the world; especially to those who feel judged.