Friday, June 5, 2009

Ephesians 1:22-23 Part One

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).

If this were the only text in Scripture that spoke of the Body of Christ and the Church, we would miss the full wonder and significance of this mystery – especially in light of the next verse in Ephesians in which St. Paul writes: And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.

More on that in a later lesson.

For now, let's focus on these last two verses in Ephesians chapter one. Scripture teaches, as does the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that all baptized Christians are part of Christ’s body.

So what does that really mean to be part of Christ's body? Let’s look at only a few of the treasures inherent in our being baptized into Christ:

We have been born again. We are new people in Christ. Whoever we were before, we are no longer the same. No longer a slave to sin and temptation, we are now free to live a new life after the manner of Christ.

Repentance and confession always results in God’s forgiveness. Always.

We will rise from death to never die again. St. Thomas Aquinas writes: As Christ destroyed our death by His death, so He restored our life by His resurrection.

Our life has eternal purpose. God has given us charisms – spiritual gifts – useful for the building up of His Church. We are co-laborers with Christ, working together for the eternal salvation of souls – souls of our family, our friends, neighbors . . . even of those across the globe.

We have an eternal inheritance with God, the saints, martyrs and the whole cloud of the Faithful who have served God.

We can speak to God – and He hears us. St. Teresa of Avila wrote: However softly we speak, He is near enough to hear us. Neither is there any need for wings to go to find Him. All one need do is go into solitude and look at Him . . . .

We are a son or daughter of God, and He cares so much for us that He lovingly sent His Son to die in our place. Abbe Henri de Tourville reminds us: Remember that God loves your soul, not in some aloof, impersonal way, but passionately, with the adoring, cherishing love of a parent for a child.

Jesus our Messiah, our Anointed One, Savior, Redeemer, Brother and Friend is the eternal head of His Church which is comprised of all baptized Christians. That vital truth is our seque – our transition -- into the next lesson. I hope you will come back again.

Questions for Reflection:

1. I had two dads while I was growing up. Neither of them loved me. As a consequence, it took years before I could begin to grasp the truth that my heavenly Father is nothing like my earthly fathers. Perhaps your childhood was something like mine. You lived without the love of one or both parents. Read this verse from St. John's gospel (we've looked at this passage before. Obviously it is a very important one for me). How would your life change if you began to understand -- really know -- your heavenly Father loves you as much as He loves Jesus?

2. When was the last time you stubbed your little toe? Or got something in your eye? Now read this passage from 1 Corinthians 12. Whether you think you are an eye -- or a toe -- you are very important to the Head, who is Christ. When you hurt, He hurts (and so should the rest of the body). When you rejoice, so does He. So, how do you think it should make you feel to know you are so highly valued by the Head?

2 comments:

RAnn said...

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Richard Maffeo said...

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rich