June 28, 2020
by Tom Shanahan, S.J.
Creighton University's Athletic Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 97

2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a
Psalm 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Matthew 10:37-42

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

What If I Have Trouble Getting Better?

I read St. Paul’s words as an excellent expression of our relationship with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They are good and proper ways of thinking/speaking of how God approaches and relates to us.  These words of Paul today, from the letter to the Romans, focus on the reality of who we are and what we are called to be because of our union with Christ through baptism. 

Paul reminds us of both a fact and a course of action for our lives that flow from that fact.  We are baptized into Christ (the fact) so that we can pour out our lives for others as he did (the calling, our course of action). We become one-with-Christ so that we (personally and with beloved sisters and brothers in Christ) will receive and accept the challenge to be like Christ in our world.

Paul’s words are without doubt both inspirational and aspirational: we are to the core members of Christ by baptism.   The sacrament initiates the intimate relationship to Christ, the Father God, and the Holy Spirit.  We become “something absolutely new” Paul says.

How so?  Baptism incorporates us into Christ himself: his life, death, and resurrection.  Yes, we are one with Christ in the foundational relationship with God through baptism. but even more is implied.  The community of faith into which are called is referred to as “the Body of Christ”, a powerful fact as well as a profound challenge to each and all of us!  Once again, there is more in these words than initially meets the eye.  The relationship with our God does not set us above others.  Rather it is meant to unite us with others.  We imitate Christ by simply being who we are (Body/Christ), and humbly offer ourselves in service to God and to others.

Lord, gracious God, thank you for the privilege of inviting us into your realm through baptism.  Help is to be the Body of Christ as you invite us.  Speak your words of encouragement and challenge as we negotiate our life of faith, hope, and love.  Especially in these days of pandemic, keep us safe so we can continue to receive your gifts of love and as we offer the care and challenge that Christ works in and through us

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