Equal in the Eyes of God…
According to St. Paul, we are all equal in the eyes of God:
But from those who were reputed to be important (what they once were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) – those of repute made me add nothing. -Galatians 2:6, NAB
In this passage, St. Paul is still in Jerusalem with the other Apostles. He has gone to them to verify his Gospel message – given directly to him by Christ almost fifteen years earlier. Now, after all of this time, he has gone to them to settle any questions.
Well, the Apostles, those who were reputed to be important, did not have a problem with any of St. Paul’s teaching. This settled any controversies and should put any questions or doubts held by the Galatians to rest. The matter was closed. Now, it was the Galatians time to simply follow what they were being told.
To be circumcised or not circumcised was an important question. Likewise, it was important to clear any confusion about the Mosaic Law. What stands out to me, however, is the nonchalant attitude St. Paul had towards St. Peter, St. James, and the other Apostles. To him, they were just ordinary guys. They weren’t saints… yet.
From a biological standpoint, we are equal in the eyes of God because we are all made in His image. We may be slightly different variations of that image, but we are essentially the same in that respect. St. Paul recognized this.
St. Paul also recognized something else with this statement. We know St. Peter and the other Apostles as great saints and leaders of the early Church, but there was not anything different about them physically. It was their choices that made the difference. Saints are not saints because of any super powers; they simply chose to follow Christ completely.
In one respect, we are all equal in the eyes of God; He loves all of us the same. On the other hand, any one of us can become a saint. It’s not something in our DNA. We become saints by the choices we make throughout our lives. To become a saint, we must give up ourselves and give everything to God.
Take comfort in knowing that God loves you as much as He loves St. Peter, St. Paul, and all of the saints. At the same time, do not let that stop you from trying to reach sainthood. The saints will surely be recognized for their lives, and so will you. We may all be equal in the eyes of God, but how we respond to that fact is what makes us different.