Oct 16 2020 Reflection
Friday 16 October 2020
First Reading: EPH 1:11-14
Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13
Gospel Reading: LK 12:1-7
Today’s Note: Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
“Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”
. . . so that we might exist for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:12)
Let’s spend some time taking this phrase apart. What does it mean to live for the praise of God’s glory? St. Irenaeus once said that “the glory of God is man fully alive.” By that he meant that we are fully alive when we become what God intended for us, people who live in Christ and who radiate his life to those around us. When that happens, people notice. They see not just us but Christ in us. And that’s how we give praise to God’s glory.
But what does this look like in real life? Here are some examples: you give praise to God’s glory when you care for the poor and disadvantaged with a heart of compassion. You give praise to God’s glory when you act as a peacemaker in situations in need of forgiveness and reconciliation. You give praise to God’s glory in your workplace when your aim is to work “as for the Lord and not for others” (Colossians 3:23).
Of course, we may not always feel as if we are radiating Christ in the world. We are all keenly aware of our weaknesses and failings, and this can discourage us. But it helps to remember that this process of existing more and more for God’s glory is just that: a process, and a slow one at that! It doesn’t happen overnight but over the course of years of walking with the Lord. He accomplishes his quiet but powerful work in us as we allow him. Oftentimes, in fact, we don’t notice how present he is in us. But other people will see his glory shining from us, even when we don’t.
Existing for the praise of God’s glory also means that we are part of a work that transcends this life and carries us into the next. As St. Paul says, “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). And it is this transformation that best prepares us to be fully united one day with our Father in heaven.
“Heavenly Father, help me to live more consciously for the praise of your glory.”