July 15, 2018
At a time when there is much conversation about national sovereignty and borders and legal vs. illegal immigration, it is interesting that we have a Scripture passage (Ephesians 2:19-22) in which St. Paul speaks ofcitizenship: “you are citizens with the saints”. It is a metaphor, of course (which, obviously, entails a passing acknowledgement of the fact that there are nations comprised of citizens).
St. Paul makes use of this along with another metaphor, that of household: “you are members of the household of God”, to speak of belonging. Add to these, the metaphor of temple: “a holy temple in the Lord”, and we begin to understand how unified we as Church are to be and how much all of this is the gratuitous work of God in us. There is no test for this belonging. There is only the gift of God and our choice to receive and cooperate with it.
Beyond the reality of nations, beyond all human relationships and endeavors, we have been lovingly incorporated into something much bigger than us, that will last forever, in which God delights to dwell. Perhaps, it is best simply to let this passage speak:
You are citizens with the saints
and also members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
In him the whole structure is joined together
and grows into a holy temple in the Lord;
in whom you also are built together spiritually
into a dwelling place for God.
Together with you as holy temple,
fellow pupil of Jesus