Paul concludes his discussion of the relation of Jews and Gentiles in the Church in today’s reading from Romans. In his amazement at God’s action in sending Jesus as both Jewish Messiah and universal savior, he cannot express anything except praise for God’s “riches and wisdom and knowledge,” his inscrutable judgments and unsearchable ways. God is beyond human comprehension, not because he doesn’t care or is hostile (as some religions have held), but because he is so great and loving and generous that neither our imagination nor our reason can grasp it.
Because everything we have comes as a gift from God, even our existence, Paul reminds us that we can’t give something to God in a fashion that puts God in debt to us. “For from him and through him and for him are all things.” So although we are in debt to God, we ought not to view our return to God of a portion of our time, talent, and treasure as a duty to be grudgingly accepted. Instead we’re invited to make a loving response.
Among the many blessings for which we owe thanks to God is the Church, through which we receive sacramental grace and in which we live our Christian life. Jesus built the Church on St. Peter and entrusted to him “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In it we can safely journey through the storms of this life until our arrival at heaven.