PASSAGE: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth" (Romans 1:18).
COMMENT: The Letter to the Romans is basically a letter of introduction from Paul to the existing church in Rome—apparently founded by someone else—which he hopes to visit as his ministerial travels continue. In hopes of a warm welcome, he sets out his basic beliefs—the message and meaning of Jesus Christ as he understands them. The first chapter begins with a traditional greeting and an extensive thanksgiving for the work that is his to do. It then sets out the need, as Paul sees it, for the message he carries. He describes people who, though made aware of the spiritual truth of their relationship to God, choose nonetheless to continue in ways of ignorance and evil—and even work to deny the truth and prevent it from being known by others.
Metaphysically, we understand this passage as an affirmation of the great spiritual truth that, because we are eternally One with the creative Power that is God, our human lives will unfold (individually and collectively) according to the choices we make. Each choice is an expression of faith—faith in something! We may place our faith solely in our human needs and urges, and make selfish, negative choices as a result. The consequences will be that we will experience in our lives the same negative energy we are affirming through our choices. Moreover, as Paul makes clear here and elsewhere in his writings, our human suffering will be much worse if, out of our misplaced faith in lack, shadows and evil, we work to discourage others from finding and embracing the true energy of divine Light and Love that is always available, and that aligns us with the divine and allows our lives to unfold rightly.