Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today’s reading

Philippians 2:12-13

“Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you to will and work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).


“My beloved”... the words echo another day, long before, when you, my brother, Jesus, stood in the stream, and John the Baptist poured water over you. There you stood, a flesh and blood human being, immersed in the swirling muddy waters of mortal existence. You stood there, the flesh of God’s desire to stand among fallen and frazzled humanity, sharing our plight and confusion, our pain and pleasure, leaving nothing out, taking it all into the immensity of the your divine heart. You stood there, a perfect icon of the singular generosity of God.

There you stood in the mud, and the voice of the Loving Mystery spoke, calling you ‘beloved son.’ And here your servant, Paul, uses the same blessing to name others whom you also have loved since before the birth of time: “my beloved.”

Your grace and blessing is twofold. The first is the blessing of being named “beloved:” cherished, loved, wanted, delighted in. The second grace is greater: that of blessing another human soul with the name you give me and all whom you love: “my beloved.”

Tell me, what is the source of such grace and blessing, if not the boundless spring of your divine heart? You hold us in your belovedness. You call us “beloved.” You enlarge our sin-shriveled hearts, making them spacious and large, with room for others that we may share your joy. And that? The joy of sharing the holy sacrament of naming another hungry soul, “my beloved,” passing along the grace that you, O Loving Mystery, has pronounced over me, and over all this frazzled, fallen mess of a world, all of it, “my beloved.”

Today, let me never forget your name for me. Grant me the joy of sharing this, your singular grace, with another needy soul who is, indeed, beloved of God from all eternity. Amen.

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