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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Blessed is the Community

Monday, June 26, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for Monday, Week 12 Ordinary Time (A1):

LECTIONARY 371 (Gn 12: 1-9; Ps 33: 12-13, 18-19, 20, 22; Mt 7: 1-5) The Responsorial (Psalm 33) places our relationship with God within the context of a whole community’s relationship with God: “Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.” In Genesis 12:1-9 we see that from the very beginning, when God chose Abraham he was choosing relationship with a community: I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you…. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you. In Acts 3:25 Peter explains that God sent Jesus to the Jews first because they are the descendants of Abraham. In Galatians 3:8 Paul uses the same text to explain that the blessing comes through faith, not heredity: Scripture, foreseeing God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the good news beforehand to Abraham, saying, “Through you shall all the nations be blessed.” Consequently, those who have faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith. We who are familiar with Paul’s theme song — “in Christ” and “in him,” which he uses over a hundred times — cannot help seeing this prophecy realized through the incorporation of all who believe into the body of Christ. The point to notice is that God blesses us, not just as isolated individuals, but above all as members of a community, the community of the Church. It is a milestone in our spiritual growth to realize that by the very fact of being Christian we have accepted relationship with a community of people and have accepted to deal with God as members of that community. Christians have no purely individualistic, exclusively one-on-one “Jesus and me” spirituality. We need to remember this when we assemble for Mass. Mass is a communal celebration. Every word the presider says during the Eucharistic Prayer is in the plural: “We....” To participate authentically we must consciously unite ourselves to others, sitting together and singing, joining readily in communal responses and bodily gestures to help “make it happen.” We must never forget “the celebrant of the eucharist is really the Church,” not the presider. 1 Our baptismal consecration as priests commits us to the communal dimension of Christianity. We were consecrated and commissioned to minister to others by giving expression to our faith, our hope, our love. Our life, like the life of the Trinity, is one of interaction. In Matthew 7: 1-5 Jesus addresses one of the greatest obstacles to that “communion in the Holy Spirit” which is the experience and fruit of Christian community: “Stop judging!” We focus on what we don’t like instead of on what we should stand in awe of. We notice people’s faults and take no notice of their faith. We dwell on what divides us instead of marveling at the faith, the hope, the love that has brought us together. If we can stop this, then our hearts will sing, “Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.”

Initiative: Accept the koinonia, the “fellowship” of Christian community. Express your faith, hope, and love. Share with others the life God is sharing with you. 1 R. Moloney, S.J., “Eucharist - Theological Synthesis,” The New Dictionary of Theology, Glazier,1987.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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