23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
‘I call you friends’, says the Lord.
O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance.
Usually attributed to King Solomon, the First Reading shows God as one who is always ready to grant the gift of wisdom to those who truly seek it.
The Second Reading is taken from St Paul’s letter to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church. Paul is writing about slavery. He knows he cannot do much to change this deep-rooted social structure, but seeks instead to change people’s hearts. He invites the recipients of his letter to see everything and everyone in relation to Christ, in whom there is only unity.
The Psalm reminds us that, compared to the wisdom of God, our greatness is as nothing – yet the Lord is a faithful refuge for us.
Christ’s call en route to Jerusalem (Gospel) is a radical one. Indifference to all the things that distract us is the way of the disciple. God’s life can deepen in us through his many gifts to us, but also in our letting go of them.
In the coming days, let us place ourselves within the friendship of the Lord, which is both a place of refuge and source of strength. May we go forward in joy as we try to embrace the crosses of our lives.