Feast of St. Teresa of Avila
Romans 1: 16-25
Luke 11: 37-41
The Apostle Paul is very proud and confident of the Gospel. Obviously he is writing his Letter to the Romans before any of the written gospels of Mark, Mathew, or Luke. The "good news" or gospel he is referring to is the proclamation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. This message, when accepted by faith, is the "power of God for salvation". It was offered to the Jews first, and now to the Greeks. Here Paul sets the theme for his letter. For this good news Paul would expend his energies and ultimately give up his life.
The power of this good news has shaped Christian life for two thousand years. It has been embodied in the inspired word of God (Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation) and in the sacred mysteries (water, oil, bread and wine, ritual actions and words). It lives in the hearts of the members of the Church, the Body of Christ, united in communion by the Holy Spirit. It has a Universal Teacher, the successor of Peter, and local teachers, the successors of the Apostles. It also has a long history of saints and sinners.
Paul wrote that he was never ashamed of the Gospel, but 2000 years of history has sometimes made us ashamed of the Church. All of us are forgiven sinners. May we pray for one another and listen to Pope Francis’s call to renew the Church in our day.
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.