Forging a new identity is a theme we can trace in this weekend's readings.
Beginning with our first reading, Ezra is looking over the destruction of his beloved Jerusalem
It was once a great city
He’s heard stories and perhaps even saw it as a little boy
But it has since been destroyed by conquerors
He looks around and sees his own facial expression in his fellow Israelites.
Distraught, saddened, and hopeless.
But instead of simply brewing in the reality of the situation
Ezra finds a copy of the Torah, the first 5 books of scripture
He begins to read from it so that all could hear
The stories of their ancestors of faith changed the mood from sorrow to excitement
They began to believe and to dream
They were to do their best to unite and rebuild
And then we get the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians
He too is reminding them of their own heritage
And helping them understand that they are to forge a Church with Christ at its head
And because of Christ, the whole community is connected in and of one body
If one hurts, we all hurt
If one is lacking, we are all lacking
When one rejoices, we all rejoice
St. Paul is trying to break old divisions of Gentile vs Jew and Slave vs Free
To remind them that all are part of the Body of Christ as believers in Christ