Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oct. 29, 2015 Thursday: 30th Week in Ordinary Time B

Oct. 29, 2015 Thursday: 30th Week in Ordinary Time B

If God is for us, who is against us? The very God who did not spare his own Son but who delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall impeach the elect of God? It is God who acquits. Who is he who condemns? It is Jesus Christ who died, nay, rather, who was raised from the dead, and who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trial, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:31-9)

Paul says in effect: ‘God for us did not spare his own Son; surely that is the final guarantee that he loves us enough to supply all our needs.’ The words Paul uses of God are the very words God used of Abraham when Abraham proved his utter loyalty by being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac at God’s command. God said to Abraham: ‘You have not withheld your son, your only son, from me’ (Genesis 22: 12). Paul seems to say: ‘Think of the greatest human example in the world of an individual’s loyalty to God; God’s loyalty to you is like that.’ Just as Abraham was so loyal to God that he was prepared to sacrifice his dearest possession, God is so loyal to men and women that he is prepared to sacrifice his only Son for them. Surely we can trust a loyalty like that for anything.

Paul goes on with a poet’s fervour and a lover’s rapture to sing of how nothing can separate us from the love of God in our risen Lord. No affliction, no hardship, no peril can separate us (verse 35). The disasters of the world do not separate us from Christ; they bring us closer.

Here is a vision to take away all loneliness and all fear. Paul is saying: ‘You can think of every terrifying thing that this or any other world can produce. Not one of them is able to separate the Christian from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ, Lord of every terror and Master of every world.’ Of what then shall we be afraid?

William Barclay
Letter to the Romans: the New Daily Study Bible