17th Sunday in Ordinary time; Year B
Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Through out baptism, we are called to be like Christ in everyway that he was: Christ who was priest, prophet and king. In this short passage we can see how Paul is attempting to bring that our of the members of the early Ephesian Church, and challenges them to live up to the expectations that have been set for them.
Priests are charged with the spiritual care of the community, both now and in the times of Isreal and Judah. This isn’t always an easy task – sometimes it requires patience perserverance with others. Sometimes it invovles accepting that, despite best efforts, some fights aren’t winnable – but maintining “unity of the spirit” is the primary duty.
Prophets are similar, but distinct. The role of a prophet is to share the word and news of God. But it is about not only sharing the call you have recieved in baptism – but also working with others to teach them and bring people into the “one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call” – the Church.
Kings in Isreal and Judah were expected not only to lead, but to preserve unity in their kingdoms. They had to maintain the physical space and unity (as opposed to the spiritual unity of the Priesthood) of the people. Just as we too have a duty to maintain “the bond of peace” with our neighbours and friends…and moreso our enemies, recognising that there is more that unites us than divides us.
And the reason we inherit these duties is becuase our Baptims invited us and forms us and fundementally changes who and what we are. It creadys us children of God – formed in “…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”.