A Note on Today’s Readings Proper 8: Sunday closest to June 29—Year A
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish as we celebrate Independence. Today we continue reading from the Gospel according to Matthew. This passage follows Jesus’ commissioning the disciples to go out and preach and his warning of the opposition they will encounter. Today he concludes this section describing those who accept their message. Matthew is speaking here of us and of all who have accepted the message and who have received the reward of our faith.
Abraham’s greatest test of faith now comes as God tells him to sacrifice the child he and his wife had waited for so long. Abraham sets out to obey but God intervenes, spares the child, and renews the promise to Abraham’s descendants, including us. The reading from Romans today carries on Paul’s discussion of the result of baptism. We are dead to sin but we still have the choice between sin and grace. The choice is to be controlled by sin or by God. One receives only death from sin but from God comes sanctification, growing into the image of God in which we were created.
We gather as people who find our life in Christ rather than in the conventions of the world. Our action in worship is a contradiction of the world’s standards. Our life as we go forth from worship is to show forth our new way of existing by the ministry to the poor and neglected that God saves all who turn to God in faith. We are to live in accordance with God’s kingdom, even when that reality is hard to find in the world around us.