THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH
Meditation for Monday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time
(Rm 1:1-7; Lk 11:29-32)
From now till first week of November, our meditations from weekday Mass readings shall base on St Paul’s letter to the Romans. Many scholars agree that St Paul sent this letter from Corinth between 57-58 AD. It was not St Paul that founded the Church in Rome. He sent this letter ahead of his planed visit to Rome as a way of introducing himself and his teachings. This was necessary because many Jewish Christians had grudges against him, and a good number of them were already settled in Rome. Also, St Paul’s teachings were subject of controversy as some people set out to oppose his teachings and give him a bad name. in this letter, St Paul tied to achieve some religious unity between the gentiles and the Jewish believers. However, before St Paul could achieve his planned visit, he was arrested in Jerusalem and was brought to Rome in chains around 60-61 AD.
St Paul began the letter by introducing himself, “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God which He promised beforehand through His prophets…” And he introduced Jesus according to His Jewish background as son of David, and Jesus is son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead. Knowing Jesus Christ as God and Man calls for ‘obedience of faith’ in Him from all nations, Jews and Gentiles alike. “To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Instead of rendering Jesus their ‘obedience of faith’, the crowds asked for signs to satisfy their curiosity. They believed more in the signs to their own advantage than in Jesus who manifested Himself before them. Jesus responded to them, “But no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” The message of Jesus and His wisdom far surpassed that of Jonah and queen of the South. Jesus is the Son of God who came to dwell among us as Son of David. His presence among us announces that the Kingdom of God is near. Like the people of Nineveh, we are expected to accept Him, repent of our sins and follow Him wholeheartedly by offering to Him our ‘obedience of faith.’ It is in response to this obedience of faith in the person of Jesus, who is God and man, that St Paul received his apostleship to all nations. And such a direct focus on His person, without the distraction of looking for signs, will unlock for us wisdom and power to conquer this day. Amen.
St John XXIII, pray for us. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Monday October 11th, 2021.