Paul to the Romans
- Reading I: Romans 1:1-7
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98
- Gospel Reading: Luke 11:29-32
The Letter to the Romans
We will be reading the letter to the Romans until November 5, 2011. Today’s selection is taken from the "Address" of the Letter. Below is an outline of the letter to the Romans.
- Address (1,1-7)
- Thanksgiving (1,8-15)
- The Gospel of Salvation in Christ
- The Theme of the Letter (1,16-17)
- The Gospel: Salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ (1,18-8:39)
- Israel and the Gentiles in the Divine Plan (9:1-11:36)
- Moral Section (12:1-15:13)
- Final Words
- Paul’s Future Plans for the Romans (15:14-33)
- Final Greetings (16:1-23)
- Doxology (16:25-27)
Notice that vv. 1-7 already announces the two big parts of the letter. The mention of the Gospel of God that is about Jesus Christ (vv. 1-4) anticipates the first part about "The Gospel of Salvation in Christ", while "obedience of faith", "all of you in Christ" and "called to be holy" (vv. 5-7) announce the moral part of the letter.
The One Greater
Luke 11:29-32 continues the preceding the conversation between Jesus and the crowd. Here he responds to those who were asking for a sign. The sign of Jonah that Jesus points out here is quite different from Matthew 12:40 which clearly points to the death and resurrection of the Lord. In Luke’s version rather, the sign is that of Jonah’s preaching which the Ninevites accepted as an occassion for conversion (cf. Jon. 3:5). Jesus is of course the one greater than Solomon and the one greater than Jonah. And because of this those who accepted them during their time and gave them due hearing — the Queen of Sheba ( 1 Kgs. 10:1-10) and the Ninevites — will testify against the people "of this generation," the same people who are asking for a sign.
Underlying verses 31 and 32 is an eschatological scenario where the judgment of peoples will occur. Quite ironically, those who are supposed to be judging — the Tribes of Israel — will themselves be on the dock while Gentiles (non-Israelites) will be standing as witnesses.
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