A reading from the Letter of St Paul to the Philippians: 1:4-6, 8-11 Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God. REFLECTION
“…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”
St Paul’s prayer associates love with knowledge and purity. We cannot love if we do not know, and the reverse is also true, we cannot know fully unless we love. If we were to remember the garden before the fall and existence of Original Sin, Adam and Eve had preternatural gifts, one of whom is the gift of infused knowledge.
I reflect on the fall of man and its consequences. Man lost the three preternatural gifts of bodily immortality, of integrity of body and soul, and the gift of infused knowledge . He had failed to love God above all and to love each other. We now live in a fallen world where we do not see or understand the whole reality of ourselves and each other because of the wounds of Original Sin. And so, we easily become frustrated at this darkness in us. In its extreme form, we become angry, resentful and project our hurt and wounds onto others whether knowingly or unknowingly. This is what we call sin.
We are not at peace with ourselves because of the wounds of Original Sin and our own personal sins. Thus, the self-destructive cycle continues throughout humanity.
Thankfully, the Church and Her Sacraments are channels of grace which allows us to reset this death cycle. Through the Church’s ministers, the priest, we may come to receive healing for our hurts and the purity in our hearts and knowledge. God wants to share with us life with Him Who is Love.
It does have one caveat, that we are first real with ourselves about ourselves. That we are honest with ourselves and God about the state of our life, our intentions, our actions and our motivations.
Then, will these graces flow from the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God, for our hope and salvation. The promise of salvation for man by Jesus Christ is also the promise of a return of complete knowledge of the fullness of reality and a pure heart which allows us to experience God’s love and the love of neighbor more deeply and
completely. The promise of Jesus Christ is the only way in which we will experience authentic peace and freedom.
This is something indeed to be joyful about!