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All Issues > Volume 28, Issue 5

<< Sunday, August 5, 2012 >> 18th Sunday Ordinary Time
Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Ephesians 4:17, 20-24

View Readings
Psalm 78:3-4, 23-25, 54
John 6:24-35

Similar Reflections


"You must no longer live as the pagans do." —Ephesians 4:17

Paul started the Ephesian church by leading twelve men to Christ and to new life in the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:5-7). A few years later, Paul observed that the Ephesians had lost their early love for Christ (cf Rv 2:4). Paul could tell this because the lifestyle of the Ephesian Christians had become merely modified paganism. Paul maintained that when the Ephesians "learned Christ" (Eph 4:20), they should have learned a new lifestyle by laying aside their former way of life (Eph 4:22) and acquiring "a fresh, spiritual way of thinking" (Eph 4:23). Paul assumed that commitment to Christ entailed a radical change of lifestyle.

Many Christians today can relate to the Ephesians. It's common for Christians to buy the same things, watch the same programs, have the same recreation, and make the same investments as "good" non-believers. Many Christians avoid the grosser aspects of a pagan lifestyle. Nevertheless, their lifestyle is more appropriately described as "modified pagan" rather than "radically Christian." We must repent, be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14), and count "all else rubbish so that Christ may be [our] Wealth" (Phil 3:8).

Prayer: Father, may my lifestyle make no sense apart from Jesus' lordship and divinity.
Promise: "You should not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal, food which the Son of Man will give you." —Jn 6:27
Praise: "Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live" (Ps 146:1-2).
(For a related teaching, order our tape on Following the World (Spiritual Adultery) on audio AV 53-1 or video V-53.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 28, Issue 5
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