Pauline Reflections 24 - 16th May 2009
Now to him who can strengthen
you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of
Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery
kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the
prophetic writings and according to the command of the
eternal God, made known to all the nations to bring
about the obedience of faith, to the only wise God,
through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen.
This Pauline doxology concludes his long letter to the
Romans. He personalizes the gospel as his own in so far
as it reflects his faith, experience and theology. This
same gospel has revealed the mystery kept secret for
long ages - justification and salvation through faith
for both Jews and gentiles, thus for the whole world.
Paul’s letter to the Romans stands out as one written to
a church that Paul never visited. In Acts 27 and 28, we
read that after Paul’s arrest he was brought to Rome
only in chains. Rome at this time was very important for
the early Christians. It was the capital of the Roman
Empire and the centre of the known world at that time.
The arrival of the gospel in Rome meant the arrival of
the gospel to the whole world.
Thus Paul could say in Romans 10:18 “But I ask, have
they not heard? Indeed they have; for their voice has
gone out to all the earth and their words to the ends of
the world”. And at the very beginning of his letter to
the Romans, he expresses gratitude to God “because your
faith is proclaimed throughout the world” Romans 1:8.
The church exists for evangelization and following the
example of Paul she continually brings the unchanging
good news of Jesus Christ to the ‘whole world’ by word
Lord, make an instrument of your
gospel in word and deed to the whole world. Amen.