Reconciliation Lectionary: Colossians 3:1-10, 12-17

mary-the-penitent.jpgThe Wedding Lectionary offers verses 12-17 as a possibility. You can check a wedding-friendly essay here.

Scripture scholars have remarked on the similarity between this section of Colossians and Ephesians 5 on which we posted last month. The main difference would be the addition of the urging of virtues in Colossians 3:12-17, because the theme of verses 1-10 is familiar.

For this post, I’d like to focus on the first ten verses:

Brothers and sisters,
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

You might remember the theme of Ephesians 5 if you read this series closely. Believers are urged to a higher standard than their life had before. But since most Catholic baptisms are administered to infants, perhaps this passage is best saved for those transitional moments: the transition to the sacraments of Confirmation, Ordination, and Matrimony.

This passage, for example, might be a good one to share with a couple celebrating reconciliation before their marriage. It might work especially well if they’ve chosen Colossians 3:12-17 for the wedding liturgy.

Confessions are often heard on retreat. The encouragement to recognize the opportunity for a change in life is very present in many retreat situations and this reading might be fitting. Let’s keep reading:

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry.
Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.
But now you must put them all away:
anger, fury, malice, slander,
and obscene language out of your mouths.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.

A shorter selection from one of the sample liturgies has Col 3:5, 8-10, 12-17. My sense would be that just verses 12 through 17 make for a nice reading for the Rite of Penance by themselves.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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