16th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B
God pronounces a chilling judgement on the priests leaders of Judah. He accuses them of being false shepherds and warns that he will punish them. But God also promises to save the "remnant" of his flock. The prophets frequently used this word to describe a small group of faithful who will outlast any calamity. This small minority will maintain their consciousness of being God's people will endure whatever befalls the rest. This passage is a promise from God that there will always be survivors.
You Who Were Far Off
Paul writes to a group of converts in Ephesus, Turkey. He tells them that before their conversion they were "far off" from God. God had chosen the Jewish people as his special people--pagans were isolated from this choice. This does not mean that he did not love the rest, but that he lavished particular attention on the descendants of Abraham. Now this exclusion has been removed. Jesus has united Jew and non-Jew in himself by the sharing of the sacraments. These sacraments flow from the blood shed on the cross. The law of the Old Testament has been replaced by a new law of love. Now we all have equal access to God.
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