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 and be found in him.
This is a cri de coeur, in which St. Paul says it all. This passage from his letter to the Christian community in Philippi, Greece (Sunday’s second reading: Philippians 3:4-14) is also addressed to us. Paul speaks with tremendous conviction and hope that others, that we discover what he has discovered (and, he does so from prison, no less!). This is experiential knowledge. If Jesus, the Christ, is truly God become human, then relationship with Him is like no other. The value of knowing him—experientially, in relationship—surpasses everything. Paul’s imprisonment, because for the sake of this Jesus, does not diminish his joy. Au contraire. And, he cannot but share his joy.
To experience a love that is greater and deeper than the circumstances of our life: this is the invitation. Do we accept the invitation? Do we have this experiential knowledge? It is a gift.
Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7: 7-8)
Yours in Christ,