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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

Reflecting on Eph. 4:17, 20-24

I feel confused when I hear that reading from Ephesians, about putting on a “new self,” as opposed to the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires.

Doesn’t it seem like our “old selves” are what we want to re-capture? Don’t we all long to find again the child who was more interested in playing than eating, more thrilled with a bike ride than a game on the internet, more delighted with the company of actual friends than with the solitude of “friending” on Facebook?

That kind of solitude is not, as the author of Ephesians says, how we learn Christ. Think back. Where did you learn Christ? Was it at school, or in Religious Education class? Was it at home? Many people I know learned Christ on the weekends, when they spent the night with a Catholic friend whose family took him or her with them when they went to Mass on Sundays.

Many of us had every possible opportunity to learn Christ, growing up in “Catholic ghettos” where all the kids celebrated their sacraments together. We had Catholic books and Catholic sacramentals in our homes.  We learned to pray for each other, and have kept up that discipline all our lives.

But many generations of those who “learned Christ” have found themselves, over time, marooned in a world that has somehow un-learned him. How do we help those who long to know him again? Well, keep acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8). By exercising that behavior every day, our own “new selves” grow stronger, and the radiance from that witness can be Class 101 in Jesus University.

What does it mean to you to “learn Christ”?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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