Wellspring of Scripture


Year B: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Second Reading: Ephesians 1: 3-14

Although this letter is called the Letter to the Ephesians, many scholars believe that it was more like an encyclical - that is, an open letter to be circulated around a group of churches. Unlike the letters to the Corinthians, for example, there are no individual greetings to members of the community in Ephesus - and it is, perhaps, more theological in content.


The theme of baptism runs through the whole letter and it has been suggested that the letter may have been intended to remind Christian converts of the implications of their baptism.


The Reading today opens with a blessing on God for all the things that He has done for His people - and especially those who have heard and responded to the Good News born in Christ. The tone is confident and alive with faith - it is a proclamation designed to stir the hearts of the listeners and to evoke in them a response of praise and thanksgiving.


Such an approach gives us a clue about how we can refer to God when speaking to others. We cannot be as eloquent as the writer of the letter to the Ephesians - but we can allow our faith to add weight to our words. We can also emphasise the good things that God has done. This may seem obvious - but the evidence suggests otherwise! When people gather to talk about faith, we are more inclined to address the problems and issues than to talk about the great things that God might have done for us. That is not, of course, to minimise the problems and issues - rather it is to remind ourselves that God has been faithful in the past - to give thanks and praise for that - and then, to address other matters. We put God at the centre - and deal with everything else into that context.


The writer of Ephesians knew that the churches were suffering persecution - a very pressing issue if you were newly baptised - but chose to raise people’s eyes to the glory of God. Setting our hearts and minds on God allows us to look at other matters from a very different perspective.


What does it mean for me?



Read the Reading - and hear it addressed to you personally.

Which phrases help you to realise the graces that God has given to you?

How can they strengthen your confidence and faith?

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