The Gentiles are co-heirs. (Ephesians 3:6)
St. Paul wrote these words from the point-of-view of someone who put the population of the world into two categories, namely ______s and ___________s. ‘Gentile’ means non-_____, someone not descended from ____________.
Now, before we get all righteous about the us-vs.-them approach, let’s call to mind the following fact. Human beings always divide the world into two categories of people, namely: people I can talk to in my language, and people I can’t. It doesn’t make someone racist, or evil, or prejudiced, if he or she tends to associate with people who speak the same language, as opposed to people who don’t.
St. Paul nonetheless declares: The Gentiles, who do not speak our language: they are co-heirs.
Co-heirs. Will also inherit. Inherit what?
St. Paul himself answers the question. “The promise.” Dear brother Jews, guess what? The Gentiles inherit the promise right along with us.
The promise made to Abraham that we would become a nation more numerous than the sands of the seashore and the stars of the sky. And that all the world will find a blessing in us.
The magi at the crib represent the Gentiles, as I think we all know. And, of course, that means they represented us at the crib–since very few, if any, of us can claim to descend from Abraham genetically.
In other words: the promises and the blessing have come to rest on us, too–us Gentiles. We get counted among the stars in the night sky that belong to our father Abraham.
Many of us have spent time meditating on this: the language we use to speak to each other has more to it than just a functional, purely practical aspect. Our language saves us from the unimaginably terrifying prospect of not belonging: not belonging to any family, not belonging to any people, not belonging to anybody at all. People have long regarded exile as a fate just as bad as death. To dwell on this earth utterly alone, without a people, without a family: Horrible.
In the time of the Old Covenant, belonging to the family of God had its distinctive marks. The Hebrew language, the Holy Land, and, of course, the definitive sign: all the men were __________________.
Now that the New Covenant has come, what is the definitive sign of belonging to the family of God? ________________.
Not all Catholics have the same language. But we have some fundamental things in common, like…Celebramos la misa. La queremos a la Virgen. Pensamos en que el padre habla demasiado a veces.
God has made us co-heirs of His good things, of His blessings. We do not make the pilgrimage of earthly life alone. We belong to the family of God.
What year is it now? Well, in our family it is 2015, since it has been 2,015 years since…
Ok. In our family, what’s a person supposed to do on Sunday mornings, or late-Saturday afternoons? Go to Mass!
And every morning, first thing; and every night, before bed–what do we do, in this family? Pray! Once a month, we examine our consciences and go to…
Listen, let’s plan on doing a lot of things together as a family this year. Mass every week. Lots of praying. Special feast days, which we can learn all about by carefully studying the AD 2015 Epiphany Proclamation.
Happy 2015! Let’s thank God that He has given Himself to us, so that we can be His people, and that He has given us each other, to be a family.