Thursday 10 November 2022

About Today Readings

St Leo the Great

Philemon 7-20. Blessed are they whose help is the God of Jacob – Psalm 145(146):7-10. Luke 17:20-25.

May our communities come together

Jesus in Luke anticipates the suffering and the rejection he will face from a generation who has heard him say ‘the kingdom of God is among you’.

The early audience of Luke’s Gospel must have heard a clear warning in Jesus’ words about the risks of being distracted or seduced by false claims about Christ. Remaining preoccupied by how or when the Son of Man will next appear risks missing out on the ways in which Christ is always present and the ‘kingdom’ already here.

Paul writes to Philemon when sending Onesimus back not as a slave but ‘as a dear brother’. Paul, now old and imprisoned, makes his persuasive appeal ‘on the basis of love’. As he has loved and accepted Onesimus, so he would have it that Onesimus now be welcomed back with love and acceptance. Paul’s bond with Onesimus is fraternal, a model of love for the earliest Christian communities as it is today. In God’s kingdom, which Jesus said was already here, people are not merely ‘useful’ but connected as brothers and sisters. May our communities, like the earliest faith communities, come together as much in times of struggle as in times of blessing.

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