NOVEMBER 4 Mon Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
Rom 11:29-36/Lk 14:12-14
5 Tue Weekday
Rom 12:5-16b/Lk 14:15-24
6 Wed Weekday
Rom 13:8-10/Lk 14:25-33
7 Thu Weekday
Rom 14:7-12/Lk 15:1-10
8 Fri Weekday
Rom 15:14-21/Lk 16:1-8
9 Sat The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12/1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17/Jn 2:13-22
We’re coming to the end of Paul’s Letter to the Romans this week, the longest and most theological of his letters. In chapter 15 he speaks about his mission to Spain, (Friday) assuring the Romans he’s coming to Rome as a visitor, not to be part of their church. He hopes they’ll support him on his Spanish mission, so that he can bring the gospel to the whole world.
But Paul never gets to Spain; he will die in Rome.
We may find it strange that Paul in his letters doesn’t offer extensive references to incidents in Jesus’ life, such as his miracles, or quotations from his teaching or his parables. We do that as a matter of course in teaching or preaching about faith.
True, the gospels were not written when Paul wrote, likely in 56 to 58 from Corinth, but certainly the stories of Jesus’ life and summaries of his teaching were important in Christian preaching at the time. Why doesn’t Paul utilize them?
Does he see the gospel, especially the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, as an immediate mystery, taking place now? The gospels bring us back to the time of Jesus, the events of his life and the words of his teaching. Paul saw them, not just as events and words of the past, but a mystery happening now. Jesus was not dead, but living in the world and in him. Now.
Is that why Paul’s letters are read with the gospels? So that we may understand they are happening now, in our time, in us?