Madly in love- Friday, 30th week in ordinary time- Romans 9: 1-5

Madly in love- Friday, 30th week in ordinary time- Romans 9: 1-5

“Being madly in love” is a matter of perspective; either you are the one experiencing this love in which you have madly fallen into or you are the one observing with shock, the unfolding scenario of madness that the one in love lives out. Love defies logic and if you are the observer then you can never understand how someone can love so much that they are willing to let go of their own happiness, for the sake of love.

St Paul was madly in love with Christ whom he once persecuted and as a consequence never counted the cost to make Christ know. All through his letters he lists the hardships and persecutions that he has undergone and he does so like a madman in love; no regrets.

But Paul has one task at hand that he has not succeeded, namely to convince the Jews of his new found love for Christ. For all of Paul’s missionary zeal, he had not managed to convince his own people, these ‘elect of God’, that they who were the chosen ones were now to be followers of Christ.

Writing to the Romans between the years 55-58, it became more and more apparent to Paul, that the Christian Gospel had not received a positive response from the majority of Jews who heard it. These do not appear to be circumstances that Paul had anticipated or imagined and therefore caused great anguish to both him and the Christian converts.

Paul in his desperation and anguish to convince the Israelites of the truth is willing to be ‘separated’ from his one true love, Christ, if that would convince the Jews and cause them to be attached to Christ. His sadness at his former co-religionists refusal to accept Jesus is poignant because he is aware of Israel’s past prerogatives as God’s chosen people and so speaks with sincerity to the Jews without any resentment to them, who in the past may have caused him personally much harm.

From our introductory text (9:1-5) we see that Paul is convinced that all God’s promises of life are found in Christ and belong in the providential hand of God. Paul wants the Jews to understand and accept this reality.

Romans 9-11 is provoked by the question of what the Gospel means for Jewish people who do not embrace Jesus as Christ. This three-chapter exposition on the providence of God (9:1-11:36) will find Paul drawing upon scripture after scripture to unravel the rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the heirs of God’s  covenantal promise.

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