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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Freedom’s Children

Submitted by on Monday, 13 October 2008No Comment

  • Reading I: Galatians 4:22-24,31–5:1
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 113:1b-2, 3-4, 5a and 6-7
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 11:29-32


Paul explains the idea that the Galatian church has become children of Abraham. He had previously said that Abraham’s "descendant" is Christ (Galatians 3:17)1. And because all the baptized were baptized into> Christ, then they too have become children of Abraham. But of which mother? Thus the typology that Paul applies with the oppositions between Hagar and Sarah on the one hand and Sinai and Jerusalem on the other.

Hagar was the mother of Ishmael, Abraham’s son by a slave woman. Sarah, the free woman, was the mother of Isaac from whom will come Jacob. Jacob was renamed Israel. From Israel, Judah was born and from the tribe of Judah arose David. Jesus is son of David; he was revealed as Christ. From this series of connections, Paul builds up the typology of Sinai and Jerusalem. It was in Sinai that the Law was given. The Jerusalem that Paul has in mind here is not the Jerusalem of David, but the one that God will establish on the last days, as is evidenced by the quotation from Isaiah. It is also the Jerusalem in which the New Covenant forged in the blood of Christ takes effect. With the opposition Sinai and Jerusalem, therefore, we find another contrast: that between the Law and the blood of Christ by which all are justified. Thus, Paul can conclude saying that the Galatians have become the children of Sarah who, in this case, have become a type of the new Jerusalem redeemed in the blood of Christ.

Read an explanation of the Gospel reading here:  The Sign of the Prophet
Galatians 4:22-24,31
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
22For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free woman.
23But he who was of the bondwoman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman, was by promise.
24Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from mount Sina, engendering unto bondage; which is Agar:
31So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.
Psalm 113:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord.
Luke 11:29-32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
29And the multitudes running together, he began to say: This generation is a wicked generation: it asketh a sign, and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
30For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninivites; so shall the Son of man also be to this generation.
31The queen of the south shall rise in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold more than Solomon here.
32The men of Ninive shall rise in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold more than Jonas here.
Galatians 3:17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
17Now this I say, that the testament which was confirmed by God, the law which was made after four hundred and thirty years, doth not disannul, to make the promise of no effect.
Galatians 4:4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law:

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  1. Of course, Isaac is the son of Abraham by Sarah, but in Paul’s reckoning, the "fulness of time" that brought in the Son of God, [see Galatians 4:4] has shifted the reference to Christ. In this way, from a Christian perspective, Isaac becomes a foreshadowing of Christ. []

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