Reflection on the Daily Readings for 10/12/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 467. Romans 1:1-7. Psalm 98:1.2-3.3-4. Luke
Paul's opening lines in Romans contains a small creed that centers on Jesus
as a Son of David and through his resurrection as the Son of God.
According to the flesh, Jesus descends from the lineage of David (this is
carried out more completely in the genealogy that we have in chapter one of
Matthew) and through the Spirit Jesus is the Risen Son of God. Like grace
which depends entirely on God, so, too does the Resurrection of Jesus.
Grace builds on nature and works with us in our humanness and Jesus' human
nature goes the full length to death and then through God's power in the
Spirit to the resurrection. Like Paul's letter to the Romans these are
thoughts coming from faith reflecting on Jesus who is both Son of God and
Son of Man (humanness).
Salvation history for the Christian faith sees Jesus as the center of time
and Paul,too, stresses salvation through the power of the Spirit working
through Jesus. Paul is focused on the redemptive mystery of Christ's
suffering and death upon the cross with its culmination in the
resurrection. God is always working through the events of human history
and through the agents of this history--every man and woman who has ever
existed. We believe that each person is made in the image and likeness of
God the creator and God the redeemer.
We are the beneficiaries of Paul's inspired letters and epistles and here
in the beginnig of Romans we are listening to the word of God through
Paul's writing in his most famous of epistles. This epistle and his other
writings help us to read the Gospels in the light of the Passion, Death,
and Resurrection of Jesus. Just as we read the New Testament better when
we know the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), so, too, we understand
the Gospels better when we read Paul who wrote before the Gospels were
The Psalm response for this day is "The Lord has made known his
salvation." (Psalm 98:2). This may serve as a mantra (watchword or phrase)
to help us recall the mystery of salvation and what Paul will say about it
as we continue to read his epistle to the Romans.
Jesus is speaking of his resurrection by using the example of Jonah who was
in they "belly of the whale" (or big fish) for three days. This colorful
story would be known and enjoyed by the listeners in his day as it is in
ours. Again we are brought into the mystery of salvation by the
Resurrection of Jesus as he speaks from Jonah to his listeners. Jonah is a
parable and as such it is applied by the one who speaks parables, Jesus. In
summary, the wisdom of God is seen in the plan of salvation and Jesus is
central to that plan for all Christian believers. Jesus is son of David
and Son of God in today's scriptures and the Lord has made known his
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