Today we are graced to reflect on St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, a passage that truly explains the identity of Christians, the Church. We are one!
“In Christ, we are neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, woman nor man, we are one.”
As People of God we are one in faith, that which we have been baptised into. Neither race nor culture, profession, income nor status, gender nor sexuality, define us – we are one in Christ Jesus and He alone, united because we believe. And yet, praise God, we remain different.
This Christian identity, explained by St. Paul, is affirmed by the gospel. When Jesus orders the disciples to “tell no-one” about their perceptions in terms of Jesus’ identity, an identity that is only comprehensible after he dies and rises, Jesus asserts that he himself is not defined or accessed by words. Who I say that Jesus is matters little; my life, not my words, may make him and my convictions known.
It is never what is said, but what is done, that that truly converts and binds human beings.
And at a deeper level, it is not even what Christians do but what they believe that matters most. It is how we are “clothed”, so to speak.
Every believer should ask herself: Am I clothed by what I believe?
Do I wear the salvation, the hope, the joy, the peace and the love of Jesus Christ –on my heart and for all to see?
Because though we are different (difference being just one grace God shares– life would surely be boring if all folks were the same), believers share the greatest gifts of all. People of faith share the grace to reflect God for each other as well as the world. We share the grace to be ourselves, and free at the same time. We share the grace to create as God creates, to bond as we have been bonded. In Christ we share the grace to love as we are loved.
May we believe in this grace. In our ever discerning quest to become who we truly are as Christians, may we not be discouraged or deterred by words –the expressed differences amoung us or within the world that God ever sees as good (Genesis 1:31)- but become united in faith, not to mention hope and love.
Clothed by conviction and uniquely themselves, may all be one Jesus Christ!