Commented Bible Passages

These Bible meditations are meant as a way of seeking God in silence and prayer in the midst of our daily life. During the course of a day, take a moment to read the Bible passage with the short commentary and to reflect on the questions which follow. Afterwards, a small group of 3 to 10 people can meet to share what they have discovered and perhaps for a time of prayer.

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Ephesians 2:14-22: One Human Family
Christ himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:14-22 NIV)

In the course of history, the Jewish people were very attentive to their distinctive identity as the People of the Covenant. In different areas of life, they often emphasized their differences with respect to surrounding nations and religions, in order to keep their identity as the chosen people and be a sign for the world. This attitude sometimes exposed them to the incomprehension and even the hostility of others.

At the beginning of the history of the Church, Saint Paul declared that, because of Christ, the wall that separates peoples no longer existed. When abused and mistreated, Christ did not threaten anyone (1 Peter 2:23). By showing his love to the point of dying on a cross, “he put hatred to death” (v.16). Christ himself brought peace by reconciling all human beings—Jews and pagans—to God and, as a result, with one another. In this way, beyond all forms of separation and hatred, a new humanity is born in the body of Christ.

Now according to Saint Paul this Body is the Church, the community of those who walk in the steps of Christ. The apostles and prophets (v.20) are the first witnesses of Christ, upon whom this “house of God” is established. Each believer, whatever his or her background, is a full member of it. When Christians live in unity and love, the Church grows as a construction built by God, a visible sign of the divine presence in the world.

This text opens up immense perspectives. The reality of a single human family is a gift of God in faith. Beyond cultural and economic differences, despite the heavy burdens of history, Christians can and should witness to this unity in a world which is still torn apart.

- What attitude, actions and concrete initiatives help us to go beyond the barriers of separation that exist in and around us?
- “Christ is our peace.” What do these words of Saint Paul mean for me today?
- What helps our local Church or prayer group to grow as a place of communion in a society that is often heterogeneous and multicultural? What can I do to foster this process?

Other bible meditations:

Last updated: 1 December 2022