The Second reading on Sunday, the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, comes from the letter to the Colossians.
We leave behind the letter to the Galatians – source of second reading over past weeks – but remain withn the corpus of Paul’s letters, or at least a letter traditionally associated with him, and which is in accord with his teaching.
Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation,
for in him were created
all things in heaven and on earth:
everything visible and everything invisible,
Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –
all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed,
and he holds all things in unity.
Now the Church is his body,
he is its head.
As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross.
Whether or not the rest of the Letter is to the Colossians was written by Paul this particular passage quite probably is not from him. It seems to be a liturgical hymn that he quotes approvingly – a hymn that celebrates the cosmic Christ.
Typically Paul focuses on the Cross and the Passion, but here the focus is more akin to the Prologue of John’s Gospel, on the transcendence and the divinty of the Second person of the Trinity who is perfectly united with the human person of Jesus.
Whoever it was who wrote Colossians, here they warmly embrace this poetic expression of the glory of Christ, before all time and before all things, and by whom all time, all things are created.
This God of glory comes to us – as our Good Samaritan – to bind our wounds and guide us to safety and health eternal.
- Spend some time in contemplation of the Glory of Christ.
- Give thanks for his mercy and love.
Christ in Glory, Church and St Mina Monastery, Alexandria, Egypt. (c) 2004, Allen Morris.