Our first reading is from a letter that Paul, while under imprisonment in Rome, wrote to the people of Colossae in the province of Laodicea. Paul had never been to that place, and he had never met those people. A disciple of his named Apaphras had brought those people to the faith, and he wrote to Paul for help, because some of those Christians in Colossae were slipping away.
I hope his letter had a good effect on those back-sliders. It certainly impresses me. Paul’s faith goes beyond what goes for faith with us. He is super positive of what he is saying, and that gets to me.
He speaks of what was lacking in the suffering of Christ. That’s surprising. I thought Jesus had suffered enough to pay for all of us. He did, too; so what was lacking? You could say what was lacking was delivery boys for getting that payment to far-flung people; but Paul gives a better way of looking at our role. He sees us, the Church, as not separate from Christ. We are his body. With him we make up the whole body that plays a necessary role in the saving of all mankind.
Paul assures the people of Colossae that even though he never met them he had them constantly in his mind. More that that, he is consciously accepting the insults and the isolation of his imprisonment as his gift to bring about the glorious resurrection of those dear people.