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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

The Bathe of Rebirth and the Christian in the World

Submitted by on Wednesday, 12 November 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Titus 3:1-7
  • Resp. Psalm:  Psalm 23:1-3,5-6
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 17:11-19

It is interesting how the Christian’s baptism empowers him to be a leaven for society.  Note how 2:11-14 and 3:4-7 on the one hand and 2:14c and 3:8d on the other form "frames" around the admonition to Titus to "say these things (2:15) … remind them… (3:1)".  Titus is not to be intimidated.  The Cretan Christians are to devote themselves to good works consistent with their new status as the people that is Christ’s own (2:14).   They are to be subject to civil authorities and be kind and considerate to others, not because of any feeling of superiority, but because they have been redeemed from lawlessness through no justice of their own.

This text from  the letter to Titus reminds me of the Letter to Diognetus, especially in that part where Mathetes tells his interlocutor that the world needs Christians in much the same way as the body needs the soul

what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world.

2 The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world.

3 The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. 
4 The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible.

5 The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it, though itself suffering no injury, because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians, though in nowise injured, because they abjure pleasures.

6 The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate them.

7 The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves that very body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers of the world.

8 The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies], looking for an incorruptible dwelling 30 in the heavens.

9 The soul, when but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christians, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number.

10 God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were unlawful for them to forsake. (The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus 6)

Without the power from above that makes men loving and lovable, we won’t have a better world.

Titus 3:1-7
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word, to be ready to every good work.
2To speak evil of no man, not to be litigious, but gentle: shewing all mildness towards all men.
3For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared:
5Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost;
6Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour:
7That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs, according to hope of life everlasting.
Psalm 23:1-3,5-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1A psalm for David. The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing.
2He hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment:
3He hath converted my soul. He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name's sake.
5Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it!
6And thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.
Luke 17:11-19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off;
13And lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, master, have mercy on us.
14Whom when he saw, he said: Go, shew yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean.
15And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God.
16And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan.
17And Jesus answering, said, Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine?
18There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger.
19And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.

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