Read: Galatians 3:22-29, Ps. 105:2-7, Luke 11:27-28
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27-28)
I often hear people say that “blood is thicker than water.” However, today’s readings reveal that this is not always the case. There is a particular type of water that is thicker than blood. This is the water of baptism; it is a kind of water that binds Christians together; the water that removes barriers imposed by culture, language, and tribal affiliation.
According to St. Paul in today’s first reading, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
When a woman was carried away with admiration for Jesus, she exclaimed: “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” In other words, she was saying to Jesus, “I wish I was the one who gave birth to you…. Or …. Your mother must be so proud of you oh, how happy she must be to have had you.”
In her song of thanksgiving for God’s choice of her, Mary, the mother of Jesus herself said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth ALL GENERATIONS WILL CALL ME BLESSED.” (Luke 1:48).
In response to this woman’s admiration of Mary, Jesus said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:27). That is to say, as much as Mary was so lucky to have had Jesus as a son, we who hear God’s words daily and observe it are just as lucky and happy as Mary herself. As Mary considered it blessed to have carried Jesus in her womb so are we blessed and privileged to hear God’s word and pattern our lives in obedience to it.
Obeying God’s commandments should never be seen as a burden or a cross. It is a privilege. We are not doing God a favor by keeping his commandments. We are even lucky that God has revealed to us in his word how we ought to live and find happiness in life.
More still, as St. Paul points out in today’s first reading, it is not the law itself that brings us salvation; rather it is our Faith in God that justifies us. We do not keep the law to win God’s friendship or favor. Rather we keep the law because we know that we are God’s friends already and that Christ won that friendship for us on the cross.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help me to find happiness daily by putting your words into practice. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 27 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Galatians 3:22-29, Ps. 105:2-7, Luke 11:27-28)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu