Homilette for Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ephesians 1:1-10)

For a long time the Western Hemisphere dated historical events in reference to the birth of Jesus. Occurrences that took place before his birth were dated as so many years “B.C.” or before Christ. For example, Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. Occurrences after Christ’s birth were designated as so many years “A.D.” or Anno Domini, that is, in the year of the Lord. The system of dating follows the assertion made in today’s passage from the Letter to the Ephesians. The passage states that in the fullness of times God summed up all things in Christ. He, then, is the center of history.

In deference to people of other faiths many scholars today prefer to use “B.C.E.” and “C.E.” signifying before the common era and in the common era. This may sound traitorous to Christian ears believing what we do about Jesus’ divinity. But the new designation no doubt promotes harmony with non-Christians and shows Christian goodwill.

Nevertheless, in Church documents and among the Christian community “B.C.” and A.D.” should give us pause to marvel at what God has accomplished in Christ. As the Letter to the Ephesians reads, God has overcome human depravity with His grace. We no longer are slaves to our passions but children of God doing every kind of good work. Being aware of this enormous benefit is not the same as accepting it. But how could anyone with an inkling of what it all means not want it for herself or himself?