But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles.
I preached on this verse several weeks ago and it has stuck with me ever since. Bear with me a moment as I share what St. Jerome said about this verse:
If something is revealed to someone, that may be revealed to him which was not in him before; but if it is revealed in him, that is revealed which was previously in him and had been subsequently revealed … from which it clearly appears that there is natural knowledge of God in all.
As families go about living in this world and facing all kinds of situations among people that are different from what we are familiar with, it is important to remember this verse from Galatians and Jerome’s comment on it. Christian revelation and the sacramental life in the Church is not hocus pocus magic. When God makes Himself known, it is not as if he was not there, and now He is. He has been there all along; we just never bother to go looking for Him in us. No matter how messed up we are, how distorted our lives are from what is good and true, this “natural knowledge of God in all” is never snuffed out in us. It is not eradicated.
We need to find a way in our relationships with people to start there, not with intellectual debates on issues. People want to be loved. They want to know that they are being heard, being understood, and being listened to. Might we begin with this when we encounter people that cause us at times to recoil from them because of whatever way they live?
The blessing of the Lord be upon you,
The unworthy +Paul