Called to Belong – Monday, 28th Week in ordinary time- Romans 1: 1-7

From our reflections on post exilic prophecy, the first readings now shifts once again to Pauline writings; this time to the Romans. Paul wrote this letter shortly before he made his last trip to Jerusalem. Some suggest that he wrote it in Corinth or in Cenchreae, both Greek cities, sometime in the winter of AD 57- 58.

Paul’s letter to the Romans is a letter of introduction and as an announcement of his visit to Rome. This is not a community he has evangelized and hence is unfamiliar with. Paul’s letter to the Romans is meant to be his reflections on the salvific love of God, offered to humanity, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul had laboured much in the Eastern Mediterranean region and now sets his eyes on Spain but before that he decided to make a stopover in Rome. Paul had made a collection from the Gentile Christians of Galatia and Macedonia. This collection was meant to be a sign of solidarity between the Gentile Churches and the poor in Jerusalem.

Paul’s letter is also necessitated by a change in the social order. Up unto this time the Jewish Christians were always the dominant group; the Gentile Christians came a poor second. All this changed, when in 49 AD the Emperor Claudius commanded the Jews and Jewish Christians to leave Rome. It was the Gentile Christians who remained and steered the faith community much to the surprise of the Jewish Christians, who at the death of Claudius in 54 AD, returned to find the Gentile Christians now at the helm of things; among them a change in dietary and calendric regulations.

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