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October 30, 2020

Philippians 1: 1-11

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. 

For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

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.

Cooperating with God’s graces

“The one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion...” Paul’s message ought to fill us with hope. Me? I believe it (sort of, theoretically), but I don’t behave like I believe it. Instead, I carry around the scrounged-up determination of that little kid who refuses to accept help and insists on getting it done all by himself. I live as if I can do it on my own and must do it on my own. Well, that attitude is admirable in a little kid assembling model airplanes, but when it comes to one’s spiritual life? There’s a fancy name for that: “Neo-Pelagianism,” the belief that we can save ourselves by our own efforts. 

Paul reminds us, in a hopeful and reassuring way, not to elbow God aside by living as if we can control our destiny and salvation. It’s God’s world, not mine. I’m not the one ultimately in control. Paul encourages me to believe that “the one who began a good work” in me will “bring it to completion.” My job? To cooperate with God’s graces. 

—Chris Lowney, a Fordham University graduate and one-time Jesuit seminarian, currently vice chairs the board of one of America's largest hospital systems, CommonSpirit Health.

 

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

—Collect prayer from today’s Mass


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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October 30, 2020

Philippians 1: 1-11

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. 

For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

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.

Cooperating with God’s graces

“The one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion...” Paul’s message ought to fill us with hope. Me? I believe it (sort of, theoretically), but I don’t behave like I believe it. Instead, I carry around the scrounged-up determination of that little kid who refuses to accept help and insists on getting it done all by himself. I live as if I can do it on my own and must do it on my own. Well, that attitude is admirable in a little kid assembling model airplanes, but when it comes to one’s spiritual life? There’s a fancy name for that: “Neo-Pelagianism,” the belief that we can save ourselves by our own efforts. 

Paul reminds us, in a hopeful and reassuring way, not to elbow God aside by living as if we can control our destiny and salvation. It’s God’s world, not mine. I’m not the one ultimately in control. Paul encourages me to believe that “the one who began a good work” in me will “bring it to completion.” My job? To cooperate with God’s graces. 

—Chris Lowney, a Fordham University graduate and one-time Jesuit seminarian, currently vice chairs the board of one of America's largest hospital systems, CommonSpirit Health.

 

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

—Collect prayer from today’s Mass


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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