The Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians
You men of Gentile stock- called “uncircumcised” by those who, in
virtue of a hand-executed rite on their flesh, call themselves
“circumcised” – remember that, in former times, you had no part in
Christ and were excluded from the community of Israel. You were strangers
to the covenant and its promise; you were without hope and without God in
the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been
brought near through the blood of Christ. It is he who is our peace,
and who made the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility
that kept us apart. In his own flesh he abolished the law with its
commands and precepts, to create in himself one new man from us who had
been two and to make peace, reconciling both of us to God in one body
through his cross, which put that enmity to death. He came and
“announced the good news of peace to you who were far off, and to those
who were near”; through him we both have access in one Spirit to the
This means that you are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are
fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God. You
form a building which rises on the foundation of the apostles and
prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the
whole structure is fitted together and takes shape as a holy temple in the
Lord; in him you are being built into this temple, to become a dwelling
place for God in the Spirit.
The Gentiles were without Israel’s messianic expectation,
without the various covenants God made with Israel, without hope of
salvation and knowledge of the true God ; but through Christ, all
these religious barriers between Jew and Gentile have been transcended
by the abolition of the Mosaic covenant-law for the sake of
uniting Jew and Gentile into a single religious community , imbued
with the same Holy Spirit and worshiping the same Father . The
Gentiles are now within the pale of God’s revelation as it derives
from the apostles, assisted by those endowed with the prophetic charism,
the preachers of Christ. With Christ
as the capstone, they are being built into the holy temple of
God’s people where the divine presence dwells.
The New American Bible, Catholic Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas, Copyright 1970, 1978-1979 Edition.
Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., S.S.L.
Christian P. Ceroke, O.Carm., S.T.D.
Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington