For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh—even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh. If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Recently I had a chance to reconnect with a college friend. We can easily pick up where we leave off, even though we rarely see each other. Our friendship has not always been this way, though. During college we were student leaders of our campus ministry student association. I was the president, and she, the vice president. During that year I would often run into our campus minister, and decisions were typically made without input from my friend.
One day, my friend had enough courage to confront me. I had mistaken her negativity for little or no interest in our programming. In reality she felt slighted and questioned her role in the group. After many tears and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, our friendship deepened. I came to understand that leadership is more about being one with our peers, and less about being right. I learned about humility that day.
In today’s reading Paul tells of his own lesson in humility. Once a persecutor of Christians, he now found himself among them. His self worth was no longer through upholding the religious law or associating with the right people. It was through the love and always forgiving Christ.
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord, be strong, take heart.
—Jacques Berthier, © Les Presses de Taize, GIA Publications, Inc. agent