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Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 27 octobre 2021

Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time - Year B dans Religion God turning bad things into good-Romans 8-28

 When people love God, he himself makes everything contribute to their good

# God depending on the beliefs, this is either a person or a philosophical or religious concept. As a founding principle in monotheistic religions, God is the supreme, unique, transcendent, universal being, creator of all things, endowed with absolute perfection, constituting the principle of salvation for humanity and revealing himself in the unfolding of history2. As a philosophical entity, God is the « principle of explanation and unity of the universe ». The actual existence of a supreme being and the political, philosophical, scientific, social and psychological implications that flow from it have been the subject of much debate throughout history, with monotheistic believers calling for faith, while it is contested on philosophical and religious grounds by freethinkers, agnostics, atheists or Godless believers.

The notion of God has a considerable cultural impact, in music, literature, film, painting, and the arts. The representation of God and the way God is named vary according to the time and the belief system. Some names in the sociology of religion, including Émile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Georg Simmel and Max Weber, laid the foundations for this study. The sociologist of religions Yves Lambert, developing an analytical grid put forward by Karl Jaspers, proposed the continuation of this approach by the historical and comparative sociology of religions in order to present analytical keys for the apprehension of the religious fact, without evading the singularity of each of the great religious groups.

Jaspers underlined the contemporaneity of radical changes that took place in large civilisations in Iran, Palestine, Greece, India and China between the 8th and 3rd centuries BC. He emphasised the contemporaneity of radical changes across large civilisations in Iran, Palestine, Greece, India or China between the 8th and 3rd centuries BC (particularly in the 6th century BC), allowing for fundamental cultural innovations, including the uniqueness and universality of God, in a stage described by Jaspers as the Axial Period.

According to Yves Lambert a religion was to be considered as an organisation assuming the existence of a supra-empirical reality with which it is possible to communicate by symbolic means (prayer, rites, meditations, etc.) in order to obtain a mastery and fulfilment beyond the limits of objective reality. Five types of religions can be distinguished, at as many new moments in human history, without it being necessary to see them as an evolutionary form, as the emerging models are not exclusive of the previous ones: the first known religions were followed by the correlative agrarian oral religions: the first known religions

From the epistle to the Romans

26 Moreover, the Holy Spirit comes to the rescue of our weakness, for we do not know how to pray properly. The Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groans. 27 And God, who searches hearts, knows the intentions of the Spirit, for it is according to God that the Spirit makes intercession for the faithful. 28 As we know, when men love God, he himself makes every contribution to their good, since they are called according to the purpose of his love.

29 Those whom he knew beforehand he also destined beforehand to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that this Son might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 Those whom he destined beforehand, he also called; those whom he called, he made righteous; and those whom he made righteous, he gave them his glory. » (Rom 8, 26-30)

After the sigh of nature and the sigh of the children of God, the inexpressible sighs of the Spirit

The apostle Paul contrasted the first two sighs: he equated the intercession of the Spirit with the sigh of believers, because they were of the same nature. Our weakness, our failures in persevering under the weight of affliction: this is weakness in prayer, arising from the fact that we do not know what we should ask for in order to pray properly. Paul explained what he called our weakness : « We ought to pray, according to what we ought, we know not. »

Our ignorance relates to the objects of our petitions, rather than to the manner in which we should pray. Paul himself gave an example of this when he asked to be delivered from the thorn that had been given to him in the flesh. Jesus too hesitated about what he should ask his Father. Here is the help: « the Spirit of God puts true prayer in our hearts. When Paul says : « The Spirit himself intercedes », he is not saying that he prays to God in our place, without our participation, but that he prays in us, insofar as he lives in us.

The intercession of Jesus Christ takes place outside of us, in heaven, with God, before whom he presents himself as our Mediator, but the action of the Spirit is exercised in the hearts of the faithful. The Spirit poured himself into them, animated them with his life, sustained them in their weakness, their fears, their struggles. He directed their thoughts towards the God of truth and love, but when, in spite of his help, they went astray in their ignorance, succumbed to temptations or felt their ardour being extinguished, he spoke to God from the depths of their being with inexpressible sighs, he created in them aspirations that no human word could express.

He who searches the hearts, designation of the God for whom nothing is hidden, already used in the Old Testament. This God knows the affection, the aspiration, the most intimate desires of the Holy Spirit in us, when he forms those inexpressible sighs which, for God, do not need to be expressed. God knows this thought of the Spirit, in a way that is in accordance with his will and pleasing to him, that the Spirit intercedes for saints, for men consecrated to God and, as such, precious to us.

There is no true prayer except that which is inspired by the Spirit of truth, holiness and love. And this prayer is certain to be answered. he mention of the Spirit coming to the aid of our weakness served as a transition between the description of the universal sighing, resulting from the « sufferings of the present time », (verses 18-25) and that of the final glorification, which the apostle now tackles in order to oppose it to the first.

We suffer, we sigh,… but we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. All things, all God’s creatures which have life and motion and being in him, » all events, none of which occur without his permission, work together for the same purpose: the good of those who love God. Evil itself is not excepted, because, whether moral or physical, everything remains subject to the will of God, who by mysterious ways pursues the accomplishment of his merciful designs and works the salvation, the eternal happiness of his children.) Examples: the story of Joseph, the role of the Jewish people and Judas in the death of Jesus.

The most severe and terrible judgments of God, although in themselves punishments for sin, can be converted into blessings for those who humble themselves under the blows of divine justice and learn to love God. Then punishment becomes a means of grace. As long as he is not brought to this end of his being: to love God, he cannot apply this consoling truth to himself. On the contrary, all things must contribute to the evil of the one who obstinately refuses his heart to God.

But who are those who love God? The graces they enjoy, the good feelings that fill their hearts, their love for God, all rest on the grace of God who has called them according to His eternal purpose. God’s call is not merely an outward invitation through the Gospel, but an inward work of grace, which draws us to faith. For God, to recognise is not simply to foresee, in a passive foreknowledge The idea of foreknowledge does not exhaust this notion. What God knows in advance already exists for him.

In the language of Scripture, God’s knowledge of a being always implies an idea of approval, favour, love; it is as objects of his love that God knows us. Among the interpreters who did not admire this meaning and who held to the idea of simple foreknowledge, some implied: God has known them as those who will believe, others: as those who will love God.

The first supposition alone would be in conformity with Paul’s thought, for he did not teach that we are saved by love, but by faith; this latter, simple acceptance, took nothing away from the gratuity of salvation. After the pre-knowledge, the pre-destination. This is the second ring of the chain of grace which, starting from the depths of God’s eternal plan, leads to the glorification of the redeemed.

By saying that God predestined or predetermined the elect, Paul indicated to what glorious change he destined them: to be conformed to put on the holy and glorious form which Christ put on when he entered the glory of heaven, to reproduce his image, as Christ reproduced the image of his Father. The purpose of the predestination of the elect was to glorify the Father on earth and in eternity. They were able to do this because, by their very transformation, they became a sanctified family, in which Jesus Christ was the firstborn among many brothers.

 t is first the call (or vocation) already mentioned in verse 28. Jesus described it (John 6:44) as the Father’s action in drawing men to the Son, including the work of the law in preparing the soul for Christ, the review of the conscience, the often painful aspirations that God’s promises raise in the heart of the sinner, until Jesus Christ Himself revealed Himself to him as the Saviour full of Grace and truth.

Then the abundant springs of justification opened up to him, the grace which Paul set forth in all its richness: « He also justified them, » he applied to them individually the declaration of righteousness, which assures the forgiveness of their sins to all believers. Thus he gave them the peace for which their souls longed. Finally, the divine work was completed by the definitive triumph of the life hitherto hidden under the infirmity of the flesh, by the glorification of every person, body and soul, admitted to inhabit the new heavens and the new earth.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites

◊ Catholic for life : klick here to read the paper →  HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 30TH WEEK IN Ordinary time B

◊ My catholic life : klick here to read the paper →  Wednesday the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time 


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