The Second reading on Sunday, the Feast of the Epiphany, presents a great challenge to our world of distinctions and prejudices.
You have probably heard how I have been entrusted by God with the grace he meant for you, and that it was by a revelation that I was given the knowledge of the mystery. This mystery that has now been revealed through the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets was unknown to any men in past generations; it means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ, through the gospel.
All – in, by, and with Christ – are one with us and we with them. No distinctions are more important than that unity, not even any difference between the sinner and the righteous. God’s mercy re-establishes us as his children. His mercy calls sinners to repentance and gives the righteous fresh reason to rejoice; but his mercy overcomes sin and gives firm foundation to our joy.
Detail showing Christ teaching and healing in collection of the Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence antiques. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.