Scripture: Lectionary 437. Sept.9. Colossians 1:24-2:3. Psalm 62:6-7,9. Luke 6:6-11:

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In every Mass the presider either chants or proclaims “the mystery of faith” (Mysterium Fidei).  This happens in the center of the Eucharistic prayer and echoes what we have as our first reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians.  This important mystical word is used four times within our pericope.  The word “mystery” in the New Testament does not have the same meaning as the mystery cults that existed in the time of Jesus and Paul.  The foundation for the word lies in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, especially in Daniel and the Book of Wisdom.  It is found in the apocryphal work of Enoch and also in the Dead Sea Scrolls in Hebrew.

Paul uses the word in relation to the proclamation about Jesus and his Gospel that has been shared with the communities that Paul visited and gave pastoral advice.  It was the hidden plan of God now made manifest through Jesus especially in his own Paschal Mysteries of his passion, death, and resurrection. Christ is now living among us through our faith and our love for one another in the Christian community and the church.  Paul makes this plan of salvation history known.  We are to make up for what is lacking in the life of Jesus and his sufferings by being a part of his mystical body.

Paul encourages the Colossians to grow deeply into the mystery of Christ.  He says, “Him, then, we proclaim, warning every human being as wisely as we may, so as to exhibit every human being perfect in Christ Jesus.” (translation of Msgr. Knox).

Jesus as Risen is living within the Church and its members who are united to him by faith, hope, and love. We are all called to bring about the fullness of the Christ life into our lives and the lives of others.  Amen.

Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.