Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

When I was a child, our family frequently visited the farm in Northern Illinois run by my Mother’s people. One of the rituals of departure was standing at the back porch and hearing the litany of names to whom greetings should be sent. This of course was B.C. (before computers).  Sending letters was rare and making long-distance calls even rarer. (If phone calls occurred at all, they would happen only during the weekends when the rates dropped).  I can imagine St. Paul running out of some house after dictating his letter, standing on the back porch, and listing all the people he wants to thank.  The litany of names listed by Paul is not only a homey touch to a very theological letter but it also points to the community of friends which comprised the early church. Paul’s letter to the Roman’s stands as a profound theological testament, one that has served as a great commentary of our faith. Its ending also helps remember that the community of the faithful is a very human one and those members of the mystical body of Christ who are alone or infirm perhaps would enjoy a telephone call or visit.

November 11th, 2017