Saving the saved- Friday, 31st week in ordinary time – Romans 15:14-21

Star Treks by-line screamed, “To boldly go where no man has gone before”. The challenge for Captain James Tiberius Kirk was to lead his space ship, the Enterprise, into uncharted territory in a peace keeping mission for the federation. The mission for Captain Kirk was not without incident and even peace missions can be met with hostility.

St Paul lived this maxim two thousand years ago. He boldly went where the apostles were reluctant to go, into Gentile territory. For St Paul, not a moment was to be lost in making Christ known and as we know from Romans he soon realised the futility of waiting for the Jews to respond to the call to follow Christ. Paul went right out to the Gentiles and when he did he did not play it safe. He says to the Romans. “So that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ. Thus I aspire to proclaim the Gospel not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on another’s foundation.”

Paul was not a man who walked the diplomatic road. He called a spade a spade and most often described even its defects. Above all, he was faithful to his calling and unapologetic in his message. In today’s reading to the Romans he says, “But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the Gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

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