Friday, June 14, 2013

"We hold this treasure in earthen vessels..."

Today, St. Paul reminds us:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
If we are serious about the spiritual life, we often look at ourselves and see our imperfections and our shortcomings. We are perplexed at the unconscious resistance that we put up to God's grace, we are persecuted by our temptations, we are even struck down by our own failures.

Yet this is all part of the processes of dying to self: a process that, by the grace of God, is at work in us who believe. The longing that we experience to be closer to Christ and to be free of those things that afflict us is evidence that God's grace is already effective.

Wait patiently, with good hope, knowing that when God looks at us he focuses not on our imperfections but on the future glory that even now is beginning to break forth in our lives as we continue to make our assent to his call.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,”
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.

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