06 Sept, Tuesday of Week 23

Col 2:6ff. Baptism “buries” us with Christ and, in spirit, raises us with him from the dead, so that we live “in” him.

Lk 6:12ff. Jesus spends the night in prayer and afterwards calls the twelve; then teaches and heals.

A Spiritual Dawning

We note a dramatic transition from death to life in Colossians, and in the Gospel from night-time to a new dawn. Night is the time of death and contention, as well as of rebirth and new awareness. At night we can lose our healthy inhibitions and self-control, and be swept into any number of evil actions or thoughts. Paul links with darkness a devastating list of sins which excludes from God’s kingdom, suggesting sins that he found or suspected in Corinth: fornication, idolatry, adultery, sodomy, thievery, miserliness, drunkenness, slander and the rest.

But night is also a time of struggle against evil. Paul names these forces of evil as superhuman agents, “principalities and powers,” over whom Christ triumphed, “leading them off captive” . Locked in such struggle, we cannot be victorious without Jesus. We are advised in Colossians: Continue to live in Christ Jesus the Lord, in the spirit in which you received him. Be rooted in him and built up in him.

Night can also be a time of profound, silent prayer. Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, spending the night in communion with God. Silent prayer of such intense surrender turns into a dynamic time of new life. “Even when you were dead in sin, God gave you new life in company with Christ.” After being restored by the night of prayer, at daybreak he called his disciples and selected twelve of them to be his apostles. Jesus proceeded to share his life by teaching and by healing all who came to him. “Power went out from him which cured all.”

First Reading: Col 2:6-15

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aide, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

Gospel: Gospel: Luke 6:12-19

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

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