Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 1:1-7; Luke 11:29-32)
There is an account of an African slave who served a Catholic household in antebellum Georgia. The woman was so dedicated to the family that she did not leave it after emancipation. The people considered her a family member and buried her in the family gravesite. We will note a similar evolution in Paul's salutation to the Romans which comprises the first reading today.
Paul introduces himself as a "slave of Christ Jesus." He does what the Lord commands. But this term by no means exhausts Paul's identity. Paul also recognizes himself as Christ's apostle and will surely include himself among those whom he later describes as having been made children of God by adoption. This means that he carries out Christ’s commands not really out of submission but out of freedom. He need not see God as a prisoner views the warden watching his every move. Rather God has become more like a mother observing her baby begin to walk and ready to assist the baby with each step.
We, of course, have been equally adopted into God's family. We rejoice under His care and give thanks for
the fine people now given to us as sisters and brothers. We also perform our family services -- helping one another and calling others to join our household.