The second reading for next Sunday’s Mass, the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, comes from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Among other things, it expresses the gift of unity and intimacy between the risen Lord and the disciple that is so central to Paul’s understanding of the life we are invited to.
Christ will be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results-I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake.
Avoid anything in your everyday lives that would be unworthy of the gospel of Christ.
What dignity Paul claims for himself – and not from pride, but because his unity with Christ is entirely Christ’s gift, that he has to struggle – even against himself – in order to receive and live.
- How is the Lord glorified in your life?
- What, at present, do you need to take care to avoid because it would be unworthy of the gospel of Christ?
Photograph is of icon of St Paul from Philippi, showing him as founder of the ancient Church there. (c) Allen Morris, 2006.