This time I would like to reflect on the second reading for this Sunday. St. Paul writes, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1), he is, of course, moving from Resurrection to Ascension. We set our minds on what is above because the risen one is the ascended one whose rule is now “from heaven.”
This is essentially “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). And if we were to ask what it means to set our minds on the above, to have our imaginations shaped by the rule of Christ, we need only look to the end of the longer section where this verse begins: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus …” (Colossians 3:17). Whatever you do in this life on earth, do it subject to that name, subject to the risen and ascended Lord. We have been buried with Christ, we are raised with Christ, we are subject to the ascended Christ. Paul finishes the story with an allusion to the return of Christ. Death, resurrection, ascension, second coming. That is your story, therein is your identity in Christ. This is the story we tell every week at the table and from the pulpit. Go live that story.
Paul concludes his list of sins with “and greed (which is idolatry)” (Colossians 3:5). That is the heart of the matter. There is something in us that always pushes us to desire more and more, but that more should not be for the things on earth, but for the things in heaven. Let us remember that we are reborn in Christ through our baptism, let us put on our new identity, and live it in fullness.
Peace and Good.
Fr. Oscar Mendez, OFM
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