Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.
Second reading for Trinity Sunday
In our age we do right to be sensitive to the social baggage that language carries with it. The language of the New Testament regular reveals that it was coined in a society even more patriarchal and oppressive of women than our own.
Yet here Paul seems anxious to stress that all Christians are truly children of God, and all Christians share in the rights of the (first-born) son, who in Greco-Roman households would normally be the sole inheritor of a father’s estate. All people, everyone, moved by the Spirit is such a son of God – be they second-born sons, slaves, women, Greeks, Jews, children: all who are moved by the Spirit.
We receive the Tradition in language that creaks and strains in order to convey the wonder and beauty of the new creation and of salvation. We have the responsibility of attempting to express the Tradition afresh so that it speaks still more clearly, more effectively to the people of our age.
God the Father. Maître de Feligne. Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon. (c) 2014, Allen Morris