Friday, Oct. 30th 2020

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

St. Paul writes to the Philippians from prison. Compared to Galatians and 2 Corinthians, for instance, readers are struck by the affection and warmth that Paul exhibits in this letter. “It is right that I should think this way about all of you because I hold you in my heart,” he gushes, “you are all partners with me in grace… I love for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

Then the Apostle states his prayer for them: “that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and in every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Obviously, Paul wants them to become progressively holier as well as be excited about Christ’s return. Is that not the wish of any curate of souls, especially as he prepares for death himself?

What is particularly interesting about Paul’s prayer for the community at Philippi is its perpetuity of growth. No Christian should feel like he has reached a place to be satisfied with his achieved level. If one is holy there is still always an opportunity to go deeper, to be “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The temptation of youth is to be a finished product and to hate the process. The wisdom of age is to be satisfied with the fact there is always still more that you lack. And even more, do the spiritually wise desire more than acceptance of this fact.

There is one more point to be made about the perpetuity of spiritual growth. God is eternal; He has always existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Human beings are creatures; yet we have immortal souls. We are not God but we have hope in sharing in His life in heaven. Their progress will be infinite because we will never match God. Thus, just as we can grow in love and knowledge in this world, then we will spend our eternity growing in love and knowledge.

Reflection by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB

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