in Ordinary Time
Colossians 1:15-20 Reflection:
In the first reading today, Paul gives us a very early Christian formula and reading of who the disciples believed Jesus to be. When he left this world and the early Christians were beginning to figure out what exactly their new faith meant, one of the first things they had to do was state precisely who Jesus was. They could not go around preaching Jesus and him crucified without knowing and being able to state what was so unique about Jesus. Today’s reading is an attempt by Paul to state precisely who Jesus is.
“Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God and the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible….”
Paul sets down the relationship between Jesus and the Father: Jesus is the exact image of the Father, the Love of God the Father in human form.
“Before anything was created, he existed,” (Jesus is eternal, like the Father)
“Now the Church is his body, he is its head.” (He has established the Church, itself a mystery with him as its head)
“He was first to be born from the dead,” (He has died and is risen, the great message of the Christian faith)
“God wanted all perfection to be found in him” (we need look no further that Jesus, he is all in all)
“All things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross.” (Jesus heals and restores unity, he brings peace and breaks down walls)
Over the centuries the precise formula of who Jesus was developed. It was not until Leo the Great in AD451 wrote his famous “Tome” that the issue was finally settled, but everything that St Paul said here was incorporated in that final vision of Jesus. And it still holds true today!