July 12, 2015 — Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Am 7: 12-15; Ps 85: 9-14; Eph 1: 3-14; Mk 6: 7-13
Most scholars are of the opinion that St. Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians while he was imprisoned in Rome. Those who study Sacred Scripture find this letter different from most of Paul’s letters, as rather than addressing particular problems which may have arisen in a Christian community established by Paul, it develops a theology, an explanation of what it means to be a Christian.
At the end of this particular reading, Paul makes reference to two important aspects of our faith and of our beliefs. St. Paul tells us that we have “believed in him (Jesus)” and that we are “sealed” with the promised Holy Spirit. Believing in Jesus, in His promises, in His redemption of us, is at the core of everything we do. This trust, this belief, is what allows us to take the steps needed to follow Him, to be His disciple, and to practice a stewardship way of living.
Note that we believe first, however, and then we are sealed. Yes, we are sealed at Baptism and at Confirmation as those represent our promises to the Lord. We do not need some assurance from God as to His good graces. By believing, by having faith and trust, we are able to be Christ’s representative. It is worth recalling and repeating that well-known quote from St. Thomas Aquinas: “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary; to one without faith, no explanation is possible.”