Reflection on the Weekday and Sunday Readings of the Catholic Lectionary
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In the first reading St. Paul writes to the Church of Ephesus, telling them that they are no longer aliens or foreign citizens in the kingdom of God. Already at the time of Paul, it was a great thing to belong to the Roman empire as a citizen. Paul used his citizenship as a shield against those who persecuted him when he appealed to be judged by Caesar. Even today, to be in any country, not as an alien but a citizen is a wonderful thing. Some go to great pains to attain citizenship of a nation of their dream. Through Baptism we have become citizens of the kingdom of God; fellow citizens to the angels and the saints.

That is indeed a great privilege. However, our status is much higher than that. Yes, it is good to be a citizen of a country of oneís dreams.  However, the crucial question is: we belong to it as who? We could be there as casual laborers, as unemployed, as criminals, as commoners or as middle or upper class. Paul tells us that in the kingdom of God we belong to the highest class; we are members of Godís household. We are not just members of the first family in a country ruled by a president, who must leave the house for someone else after a few years. Our Father is a king, and we are royal children with a permanent inheritance.

Even that image is limping, so Paul uses another. We are bricks in an edifice indwelt by God, whose corner stone is Jesus and whose foundation stones are the prophets and apostles. Each of us must be aligned to the corner stone. We are aligned by faith in Jesus. Without ever having seen him like Thomas did, we believe that he died for us and rose from the dead. We believe that whatever he commanded us to do us is true and meant for our good, even when it often contradicts our own opinions or desires. When we follow what we believe, we discover contrary to worldly expectations, that we are already happy. This the Lord had already predicted: Happy are those who have not seen yet believe.
The Apostles Thomas                                                 3rd July 2013