March 23, 2008 – The Letters of Saint Paul – The Fifth GospelPaul shows the same zeal for Christ as he did for the tenets of Judaism. Once he has met the Risen Christ, he will not deny the truth he sees before him. As exuberant as Saul was in persecuting the people of The Way, this is the same passion with which he follows the Lord to his own execution. Paul sacrifices the “I”, the “me”, the life of self so that he might bring the wonderful news to others that all of us are saved.
Some say that the cannon of Paul’s letters still extant are a fifth Gospel: a storehouse of good news and an explication of how we are to arrive and live in the New Kingdom. These letters show the love he has for the people with whom he interacted daily. They are a roadmap for our own lives.
Paul makes missionary trips . . . as do we each day, each week, each year of our lives. When we rise and journey to work, to play, to pray, we also witness in the way we interact with others. What do our actions say about us and the relationship we have with God? Do we treat one another with patience? Do we accept one another as fellow sojourners? Do we call one another to our highest potential? Do we wait in loving prayer for our fellows who lag and falter? Do we rely on others in this journey as like witnesses to raise us up when we falter? Do we examine ourselves as fiercely as we examine others? Do we show hospitality to all with whom we come into contact? Are we kind? Are we gentle? Do we temper the sharp edges of ourselves as we interact with others? Do we interact honestly and openly with vulnerable hearts as e work and play and pray each day?
We may live and work and worship in one place for our entire lives, or we may move from house to house, from job to job, from church to church . . . but in either case we are pilgrims of the heart, pilgrims of the soul, pilgrims making our journey back home to the New Jerusalem. On this Easter Sunday, may our fervor be a true companion as we move out of ourselves in search of our place in this New Temple of living stones which Christ is building. May our true love of Christ be evident in our interactions with others as we take our place at the table in The Gathering of God’s People.
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