Friday 9 October 2020

Today is Friday the 9 October, in the 27th Week of Ordinary Time.  

Maximillian sings, ‘Redemption’. Turn your focus now on the love Christ has for you… He showed this by dying on a cross for you… Spend a moment resting with this as you settle into prayer.  

Today’s reading is from St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.  

Galatians 3: 7-14  

So, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you."  For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.  For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law."  Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for "The one who is righteous will live by faith."  But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, "Whoever does the works of the law will live by them."  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" — in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

As he did in yesterday’s reading, Paul insists again and again on faith, not the Law, being the basis of Christian life.  And he says that we who believe are descendants of Abraham – not by blood, but by faith – because we believed, as he believed.  What does it mean to you to be called a son or daughter of Abraham? – for Abraham to be your “father in faith”?  

Paul could hardly express more strongly here his opposition to the Law being imposed on people – to a particular way of behaving, a particular set of rules, being made the be-all and end-all.  No, he says, faith is what matters.  How do you react to this message?  Is it challenging for you? Liberating? Or what?  

Listening to Paul’s words, you may find fault with them, you might think he is pushing a particular argument a little too hard, perhaps, but as you hear them again, what is the essence of his message?  What is the point, the truth, that he really wants us to get?  

What feelings has hearing these words stirred in you?  Perhaps you are a little perplexed with Paul’s argument, or relieved, or worried about your own faith?  Whatever your feelings, bring them before the Lord now: speak to him as one friend to another.      

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.