Year C: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Second Reading: based on St Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1: 24-28
St Paul speaks today of the hardships and sufferings that have gone with being an apostle - but also of his willingness to endure them so that he can fulfil the work given to him.
This work is to build up the body of Christ - that is the Church.
This is his message - to tell them of the mystery that God had kept hidden for centuries but which He has now revealed to His saints - that Christ is among them and that this is their hope of glory.
Paul is not using the word “saint” in the sense we tend to use it these days. For him, and for most people at the time, the saints were those who believed in Jesus as the Son of the Living God.
For us, being a saint means many things - and few of us would see ourselves as saints just yet. Some of us would not want to be saints yet - as the “Nun’s Prayer” says “some of them are so hard to live with!”
She has a point but we do ourselves a disservice when we fail to realise the greatness of the gift we have been given. Our life in Christ is leading us to glory. Our lives - when they are lived as God directs - are living testimony to the presence of Christ in the world.
We often underestimate the effect our lives have on other people. We do not need to stand in the streets making long speeches to convince people about our Faith in Jesus.
If our lives are lived in Christ, they proclaim the Gospel for us - people see our actions - feel our kindness and compassion - and know without words what is at the centre of our lives.
Think for a moment about a good person that you know - what is it about them that makes them good? Is their life attractive to other people? How?
Think about someone who seems to have no values or faith - how does their life influence other people?
Being a “saint” in St Paul’s sense is not really about being perfect - we are being trained and instructed in order to grow in perfection - in holiness - into the fullness of Christ
What does it mean for me?
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