So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When reflecting on the readings for today, the last line of the Ephesians passage caught my attention. Jews and Gentiles are no longer to see themselves as separated from each other or from the saints or from God. They are to see themselves as citizens with the saints, members of the household of God, and even part of the structure of God’s dwelling place.
What strikes me most is the description of us as “built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” When I think about my own relationship with God and how I’m doing on my journey of faith and daily/weekly practice, I often focus on what I’m not doing or what virtues I’m sorely lacking. Although I know intellectually that we are interdependent and that this interdependence transcends our own time and place, my self-reflection does not often include this communal element.
By moving my reflection to include the reality of this life and journey as one that is for, with, and alongside others more fully, I am better able to overcome my own sinfulness and unworthiness. It’s the women I reflect and pray with each Sunday night via Skype who teach me that together we are more than we might be individually. It’s the people from my children’s school and our parish who teach me the power of community. It’s my colleagues from different faith traditions and disciplines on mission together to serve students who teach me how to cross boundaries.
How do I support those around me in their journey of faith? How do others support my journey? Where do I need to reach out to others more for support? Where do I need to reach out to others more to provide support?
—Elizabeth Collier has degrees from three different Jesuit universities, including a PhD in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago. She teaches at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
Creator God, give us companions whom we might support and who might support us as we seek to serve you and be your spiritual dwelling place in our part of the world this week.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!