Daily Reflection - February 23, 2024
Adapted from "Our Daily Bread"
Ephesians 2:11-22 (New Catholic Bible)
11 Jews and Gentiles Reconciled in the Church. Therefore, do not forget that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcised by those who refer to themselves as the circumcised because of a physical rite. 12 Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, excluded from the community of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise. You were in the world without hope and without God.
13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace,
who has made the two into one,
by breaking down the barrier of hostility.
In his flesh
15 he has abolished the Law
with its commandments and ordinances,
so that he might create in himself
a single new person out of the two,
thereby making peace,
16 and that he might reconcile both groups
to God in one body
through the cross,
thereby putting that enmity to death.
17 Therefore, Jesus came
and proclaimed peace
to you who were far away
and peace to those who were near.
18 For through him
we both have access to the Father
in the one Spirit.
19 As a result, you are no longer strangers and foreigners. Rather, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 Through him the entire structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you are also being built together into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit.
God commanded Israel to show kindness to strangers. "Treat them with love, as you would a foreigner in Egypt." He calls attention to the fact that many of us who identify as gentile believers in Jesus were once "separate from Christ... and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world." Therefore, He gives us all, Jews and Gentiles alike, who were once aliens, the mandate "to show hospitality to strangers." God calls us to extend the same hospitality to strangers.
Within your world, who is an outsider? How could you extend a hand and invite them to visit your space?
Please, Jesus, reveal to me the stranger You want me to love. Amen