"The Mystery of Sacramental Creation"

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B 11 July 2021




“As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.”Eph. 1:4


Today’ readings reveal to us, as St. Paul tells us in the Second Reading to the Ephesians (1: 3-14) that he might make known unto “the mystery of his will,”: “As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.” Eph. 1:4. This mystery of God’s will was revealed to us in the teaching of Jesus Christ in today’s Gospel (Mk. 6:7-13) message: “And he wondered because of their unbelief, and he went through the villages round about teaching. And he called the twelve; and began to send them two and two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.” Mk. 6:12 St. Paul reminds us of all that Jesus Christ means to us: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ” Eph. 1:3 With Jesus Christ , according to St. Paul, we have “every spiritual blessing.” Eph. 1:3. First, then our predestination to be adoptive as His sons: “Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children.” Eph. 1:5 Then we have “redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace, Eph. 1:7 When our redemption is accomplished, through the Precious Blood of Christ, we will receive every spiritual blessing on high in Christ Jesus, “holy and unspotted in his sight” (cf.. Eph. 1:4) This will all be accomplished in God’s plan in Jesus Christ especially through His Holy Priesthood and the Sacrament of Matrimony. These two sacraments of the Church are integral to the explanation of the mystery hidden in God from all eternity now revealed through Jesus Christ in His Church ( cf. Eph. 1). With the Sacrament of Matrimony man, who is made in “the image and likeness of God” ((cf. Gen. 1:26), cooperates with God and brings forth children for the kingdom of heaven for all eternity. With the Holy Priesthood, the Sacrament of Holy Orders, God reveals the sanctifying aspect of His great mystery where those called to the ministerial priesthood will sanctify, “make holy and without blemish,” all those who are predestined to be the praise of the Glory of His grace” in eternal blessedness in heaven. (cf. 1:6)


Chosen for Holiness


“As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.” Eph. 1:4


Through Baptism and Confirmation, all the Catholic faithful become “… a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: I Pt. 2:9 Vatican II tells us that all the baptized are “By regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit are consecrated to be a spiritual house and Holy Priesthood, that through all the works of Christian men they may offer spiritual sacrifices.” Lumen Gentium #!0 By their sharing in the priesthood of Christ, the faithful take an active part of the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They sanctify the world through their holy lives and their daily work. From the ranks of the faithful, some are called by God, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, to exercise the ministerial priesthood which builds up on the common priesthood for the laity. Both are essentially different; the ministerial priest by means of his consecration, received in Holy Orders, becomes an instrument of Jesus Christ, to whom he offers his entire being, in order to bring the grace of redemption to all mankind. St. Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that the priest is a man “For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins:” Heb. 5:1


The Sacrament of Matrimony

The sacrament of Matrimony is also part of the great mystery which has been hidden in God from all eternity (cf. Eph.1:9) St. Paul explains this mystery in the Epistle to the Ephesians as part to the dual metaphor of the Christ and His Church and the sacrament of Matrimony: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. Eph. 5:25-7 In this double analogy of the love of Christ for His Church and the love of husbands and wives for one another, St. Paul shows how the whole mystery of life hidden from eternity is that marriage is a holy state, a sacrament, in which husband and wife sacrifice for each other and bring children into the world for the Kingdom of heaven and where husband and wife “without spot or wrinkle” will be espoused to God for all eternity. This is what it means to be a bride of Christ. Husbands and wives in their sacrificing for each other, like Jesus Christ for the Church, prefigure the spousal union of all in heaven with God. Even those souls who do not marry and remain in the virginal state here on earth represent the eschatological sign of all the souls in heaven. Virginal souls anticipate the final end of all souls by their holy lives. St. Paul relates to this holy state when says the He (Christ) “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.” Eph. 5:27

“To Be Holy and without Blemish”Eph. 5:27

“To be holy and without blemish” relates to our state in heaven, but it also means for us to be holy and without blemish here in this life which means to be without sin. In heaven then, we will be the praise of God’s glory. We were created to be happy with God for all eternity. Our lives here on earth have been chosen and predestined by God so that we will be His glory in heaven. This is why God has given us the Holy Priesthood to sanctify us here on earth. This is why we have been given holy state of matrimony and virginity where we in the Church will be without spot or wrinkle and will be presented to God to be his glory for all eternity: “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.” Eph. 5:27



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