Our First readings at mass shift from the OT to the NT as we hear for several weeks from Paul’s Letter to the Romans. This latter is the longest and most systematic, in terms of paul’s theology. It was written to a church that he didn’t found and not to address problems at the church as in most of Paul’s letters. He intended to stop in Rome on the way to or return from visiting Spain. He wanted to preach the Gospel in the capital of the Roman Empire. So, he writes to prepare his reception there. He still was battling people’s misgivings about the Gospel he preached. In the process of writing, we will hear Paul’s most lengthy discourse on what is called “Justification by Faith.”
Today, we hear his greeting, very long and formal since the people didn’t know him. He also points out that Jesus is the culmination of God’s plan. All scripture points to Him.