- 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
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- 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. [↩]