. . . [I]t’s become known . . . to everyone else that I’m in chains for Christ....
One way by which biblical authors call the readers’ attention to the importance of a concept, a character, or an event in their work, is through repeated reference to it. “Redundancy” is not a new technique discovered by advertisers.
Brother Aloysius Milella, SSP, 19/01/2016
In searching for the best guide for conveying Christ’s full mystery toward the salvation of contemporary humanity, Blessed James Alberione discovered St. Paul. He made himself one of the most ardent disciples and imitators of the Apostle in modern times.
Anne Flanagan, FSP, 11/01/2016
St. Paul is one of the best-known personalities of the ancient world—the historian's dream come true. Not only do we have some of his own letters, we also have an account of his life’s work in the Acts of the Apostles (attributed to St. Luke).
Christmas is about God becoming one of us in Jesus. We are familiar with John the evangelist’s expression: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14), which sums up the mystery of the Incarnation.
Did Paul believe Jesus to be God? The question may sound absurd, but it needs to be answered if we are to understand how a staunch Jew like Paul, without turning his back on his Jewish belief in the one true God of Israel, is able to declare that “Jesus Christ is Lord!” (Phil 2:11). What force does this declaration have for him?
Apart from these external things, I experience daily cares and anxiety for all the churches. If anyone is weak, I too am weak!
If anyone is led into sin, I too am ablaze with indignation! 2 Corinthians 11:28–29
God’s action of reconciling the world to himself through the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ is the source of ethical motivation for Paul. With this act, God freely bestows on us our true identity. We are no longer slaves of sin but children of God. It is from this sonship and daughterhood that our behavior must flow. God’s grace empowers us to act according to this new identity.
The justice of God has now been manifested apart from the law… the justice of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for those who believe. (Rom 3:21-22 BD)
Many people grew up with the notion of divine justice as “rewarding the good and punishing the wicked.” Thus, heaven and hell, respectively, spell eternal reward and eternal punishment, while God is conceived of as a calculating judge. These images reinforce a caricature of God, fashioned after “our own human image and likeness.”
Something which puzzles many people is Paul’s almost total silence concerning the earthly life of Jesus. Apart from the fact that he was born of woman, born under the Law, (Gal. 4:4) i.e. that he was human (as opposed to some divine manifestation, common in Greek mythology) and that he was Jewish, descended from David according to the flesh (Rms. 1:3), Paul gives us no direct information about the life of Jesus.
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