Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ephesians 1:1-10; Luke 11:47-54)
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 people today use “B.C.E.” and “C.E.” signifying before the common era and in the common era. This may sound treasonous 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.” give us pause to marvel at what God has accomplished in Christ. As the Letter to the Ephesians relates, through him God has overcome human depravity. We no longer are slaves to our passions but children of God capable of meritorious acts. Being aware of this enormous benefit may be far from assimilating it for ourselves. But still we employ the initoals “B.C.” and “A.D.” to remind us that the journey has begun.