Nothing Matters but a New Creation (Sun. Nov. 20)

The word of the day is “new.”  In our reading of Galatians 6:11-18, St. Paul dismisses both “circumcision” that would identify one as a Jew and “uncircumcision” that would identify one as a Gentile.  He writes, “ For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation” (vs. 15). Various versions say that neither one of these marks of identity “avails for nothing” (NKJV), “means anything” (Berean Bible), “counts for anything” (NET Bible), “is of any importance” (Weymouth New Testament) or “matters” (Good News Translation). What Matters Yet the Greek term assigns even less significance to these outward signs. The original language says that neither “circumcision” nor “uncircumcision”  “is” anything (vs. 15). The only thing that…

Our Relationship to God: a State of Being (Sun. Nov. 14)

The word of the day is “faith.” Today in our reading of Galatians 2:16-20, St. Paul charges that some believers in Galatia are abandoning their faith in Christ.  These turncoats have fallen under the spell of “Judaizers” from Jerusalem who teach that being Christian means doing all the works of the Mosaic Law. Paul thought that the leaders in Jerusalem had agreed that faith was sufficient for membership in the Church.  But now even Peter had refused to associate with Gentiles who “did not live as Jews” (vs. 14). Paul reacted vehemently.  The Gospel was at stake.  The Apostle’s message was that the works of the Mosaic Law did not and could not justify sinners in God’s sight. God’s approval…

Sacramentally Dead to the Law and Alive to God (Mon. Sept. 27)

The word of the day is “law.”  We take it for granted that the Mosaic Law and its regulations and restrictions do not apply to us.  But today, we reflect on why it no longer holds us captive.  We learn that freedom from the law is not a generality.  In Holy Baptism, each one is personally released from the bondage to the law and its judgement and given the grace of the Holy Spirit.  Today, we learn to think sacramentally about our salvation.  We realize that the water and oil of the Holy Mystery of Baptism and Chrismation are agents of grace by which we die to sin and rise to the freedom of the New Life of Christ in…

Turn to the Lord with All Your Heart (Wed. March 10)

The word of the day is “turn,”  Today we observe a “little Lent” before Great Lent.  No liturgy is celebrated today, and there is no Gospel or Epistle reading.   Rather, in our reading of Joel 2:12-26, we hear the urgent cry, “Turn  to me with all your heart with fasting and wailing and with mourning…” ( vs. 12).  Our reading admonishes us to take the upcoming Lenten season with ultimate seriousness.  There is no time to delay.  There is no more room for spiritual laxity.  The prophet announces the time of grace and judgment has come upon us. Today our reading goes back to the 700 years before Christ.  The People of God are facing two catastrophes, a plague of…

Nothing But a New Creation (Sun. Nov. 8)

The word of the day is “new.”  In our reading of Galatians 6:11-18, St. Paul dismisses both “circumcision” that would identify one as a Jew and “uncircumcision” that would identify one as a Gentile.  He writes, “ For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation” (vs. 15). Various versions say that neither one of these marks of identity “avails for nothing” (NKJV), “means anything” (Berean Bible), “counts for anything” (NET Bible), “is of any importance” (Weymouth New Testament) or “matters” (Good News Translation). What Matters Yet the Greek term assigns even less significance to these outward signs. The original language says that neither “circumcision” nor “uncircumcision”  “is” anything (vs. 15). The only thing that…

Faith, a Relationship and a State of Being (Sun. Nov. 1)

The word of the day is “faith.” Today in our reading of Galatians 2:16-20, St. Paul charges that some believers in Galatia are abandoning their faith in Christ.  These turncoats have fallen under the spell of “Judaizers” from Jerusalem who teach that being Christian means doing all the works of the Mosaic Law. Paul thought that the leaders in Jerusalem had agreed that faith was sufficient for membership in the Church.  But now even Peter had refused to associate with Gentiles who “did not live as Jews” (vs. 14). Paul reacted vehemently.  The Gospel was at stake.  The Apostle’s message was that the works of the Mosaic Law did not and could not justify sinners in God’s sight. God’s approval…