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Saturday, 15 April 2017

"Christ... Has Made Me His Own."

"Holy Saturday, Jesus rests in his tomb.  May we have the grace to pray and meditate on the day of mystery and despair, the day of gestation and unknowing.  May God be with us as we are being knit together in our mothers' wombs, intricately woven in the depths of the earth, that something new may come forth."

Philippians 3:12-16
12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. 16Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

1) "...I press on;" "...Christ Jesus has made me his own;" "...I do not consider that I have made it my own;" "...straining forward;" "...I press on;" "...the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus;" "...who are mature;" "...hold fast;"

2) I am moved by the profound humility of this passage, "Not that I have already obtained this or have reached the goal;"  "I do not consider that I have made it my own."  Paul knows that he has not expressed Christ as fully as he is called to do, but he is "straining forward" and he will "press on towards the goal."  He has attained something, some progress along the way, but he doesn't tell us just what progress.  As I look back on the last seven weeks of posting my daily prayer, and of course, twenty years of morning prayer before that, I wonder what progress have I made?  I know that I am not where I once was, not by a long shot.  Life has certainly changed, my circumstances are very different.  But how have I changed?  Am I more patient, tolerant, compassionate, empathetic?  Do I abstain more from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement?  I know that I am less often overwhelmed by my circumstances.  Even though sometimes my circumstances can be worse than ever before, I'm less likely to be reduces to a complete dysfunction by them.  And I have had some amazing relationships, and those keep deepening and becoming richer and richer.  I have an increasing number of companions with whom I journey.  I do believe that I have enjoyed life more and more as the years go by.  It wasn't long ago, I was quite happy to announce that life started at 40.  Will I be able to make a similar claim at 50? 60? 

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To keep straining forward, despite often feeling like I'm just treading water.  To trust in the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.  To hold tight to those who are mature and be of the same mind with them.

"Holy One, give us rest in the darkness of the tomb, as something new prepares to be born."

Breathprayer: "Christ... has made me his own."

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