Today is Tuesday the 13 October, the feast of St Edward the Confessor, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
Audrey Assad with the Porter’s Gate sings ‘Nothing to Fear’. Can you receive these words today?
Today’s reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
Some of the Jews who became Christians were (still) rather attached to circumcision. They thought that every man who became a Christian should undergo the procedure in order to fulfil the Jewish law. Paul is having none of it. His view is that this is not necessary to be a follower of Christ. What matters is faith working through love. Paul often pits faith in Christ against trusting our own efforts at self-justification. Grace is a free gift and not something we earn. Spend a moment letting God love you just as you are . . .
For St Ignatius, as for Paul, God’s love shown in Christ always comes first. The fruit of this love is gratitude and a generous desire to respond. How does this idea fit with Paul’s “faith working through love”?
Do I sometimes find myself trying to earn God’s love? Consider whether this way of thinking is sometimes at work in you . . .
Listening again to the passage, see if you can get a handle on Paul’s theology of grace.
What is God wanting you to discover today through prayer?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.