Friday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Rom 9:1-5;  Lk 14:1-11

Paul seems rather dramatic when he writes, “I speak the truth…I have great sorrow and anguish in my heart…I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people…”

He is writing about the unconverted and it seems dramatic and overstated until we remember the truth he speaks from: his own conversion. He was not converted from a life of sin and degradation, but from non-belief in Christ to belief. And it has made such a difference in his life that he could wish nothing better for his “own people.” Paul has experienced the contrast of life with and without Jesus Christ. “With” is better. The difference -as anyone who has had such a conversion experience knows- is dramatic.

And God has emphasized how important that remembrance and gratefulness is.  It is given in the prologue to the 10 commandments and the conclusion of the Shema Israel: “Do not forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.” Never forget what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now.