Today’s reading from the Letter to the Ephesians introduces chapter two and is filled with contrasts between who we are now as opposed to who we were before Jesus came among us. It is St. Paul’s conviction that we were dead because of our efforts to win salvation through the Law and that now we are alive because of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Once again we hear his familiar language about “flesh” and “spirit.” It would be good for us to remember that the desires of the flesh include anything that leads us away from God while the works of the Spirit are those things that lead us toward God. The gift of the Spirit makes it possible for us to gain access to God which had been lost through the sin of Adam.
All of this has come about because of God’s mercy and love for us. We cannot claim any credit for our salvation won for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Consequently, Paul reminds us once again that we cannot boast; all we can do is be grateful for this gift.
As we continue to read this letter of St. Paul, we will hear of more contrasts, more examples of then and now. Let us give thanks for this gift.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator