Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ephesians 4:4-6 part 7

 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

We completed our discussion of "the hope of our calling" in the last lessons. Let's now look at St. Paul's comment about "One Lord, one faith, and one baptism . . .."

There is always the possibility of a disconnect between calling Jesus 'Lord" and living as if Jesus is our personal Lord. A dictionary definition of 'Lord" might be "a person or thing who has authority, control, or power over others;  master, or ruler".

Think for a moment about your relationship with the Lord Jesus. How do you demonstrate your subservience to His Lordship?  How do the writers of sacred Scripture instruct us to demonstrate that subservience?  For example, what do these passages teach us here, here, here, and (substitute the word 'Christian' for Jew, and 'Sacraments' for circumcision) in this passage here?

After answering those questions, consider these: Does participation in the Sacraments in and of themselves demonstrate our submissiveness to Christ, or does God require more than, for example, receiving Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Consider St. Paul's comment about the Holy Eucharist here. What do you think he meant when he wrote those instructions to the Church at Corinth?

Now look at the Church's teaching in the Catechism of the Catholic Church about the Sacraments: 

1098 The assembly should prepare itself to encounter its Lord and to become "a people well disposed." The preparation of hearts is the joint work of the Holy Spirit and the assembly, especially of its ministers. The grace of the Holy Spirit seeks to awaken faith, conversion of heart, and adherence to the Father's will. These dispositions are the precondition both for the reception of other graces conferred in the celebration itself and the fruits of new life which the celebration is intended to produce afterward. 

1133 The Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the sacraments by the Word of God and the faith which welcomes that word in well-disposed hearts. Thus the sacraments strengthen faith and express it. 

What do you think the Church means when it speaks of 'well-disposed' hearts?

Israel had a problem not walking their talk about the Lordship of God. They called God Lord, but they treated Him otherwise. Note Isaiah 1:2-4 and Malachi 1:6-8. And, of course, Christians can be guilty of the same problem. Take a look at this sobering warning of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23.

Is that a danger we can fall into? If so, what steps will you take to minimize that risk?

We will look next time at "One faith, one baptism."

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