Putting on a new self, of course, is one of the most difficult things in life. I just think of every time I’ve begun a diet; this summer, for example, it’s how many nights in a row can I eat only a salad for supper. And that’s among the simpler things. The older we get, the more we are set in our ways. Changing a personal trait, characteristic, or habit is very, very hard.

So when Paul says in our Colossians passage to put on the new self, who is Jesus Christ, he lays down the challenge of discipleship. The old self must retreat and eventually vanish so that all is all in Christ, This is the life long work of prayer. When prayers is no longer just asking God for things and for favors, then prayer can become this depth of grace that actually results in putting on Christ. Just ask any of the saints, for this is how it is done.

Vs. 13, the last verse in the passage, really fits the day. our country is in the throes of a white nationalist and supremacist rise, not totally unexpected always just below the surface. How many times Peter and Paul, following the practice of Jesus himself create a world without borders or human distinctions of any sort. The “here” must be the Eucharistic banquet, where all human made differences are set aside and no longer have any bearing, and even disappear. It is going to be very painful and many more people will be hurt and killed before it is over. White anger is totally unjustified as privilege and abundance have been theirs sine fine. The patriarchy and the whiteness are all of one fabric. How does the church and the disciple respond to this old situation?

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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