8th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
1 Peter 1:10-16; Mark 10:28-31
“Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” We just heard these words taken from the First Letter of Saint Peter. I suggest you append to these words, a passage taken from the Letter to the Philippians: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). In order to run the path of God’s commandments and win the prize of eternal life, we need to strip off the old sinful self, and the former manner of life that hinders us from achieving the fullness of grace” (CF. Eph. 4:22). We must be willing to lay aside anything that would hamper our ability to ascend the heights. We must strip ourselves of all that would prevent us from grasping as our own that for which Christ Jesus grasped us as His own (CF. Phil. 3:12). Standing naked in the presence of the crucified naked Christ, our vulnerability and weakness are united to His. By being thus conformed to Christ’s weakness, the power of God is manifested in us (CF. 2 Cor. 12:9).
It is in this utter dependence and purity of heart that the Father of All sees and loves in us what He sees and loves in His Beloved Son. By allowing the Holy Spirit to conform us to the person of the Son, we thereby become an image of Him who is the image of the invisible God (CF, Col. 1:15). The truth of Christ appears in its beauty and power, when it appears in the Incarnate Word. In his divinity Christ reveals the Father’s face. In His humanity, being a man like us and in solidarity with us in everything except sin, He reveals man to himself. “The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown” (Gaudium et Spes, #22).
Christ has overcome all our difficulties and was not discouraged by the sufferings he had to endure on our behalf. In grace we were saved. By grace God enlightens and enlivens us all along our journey. His grace is sufficient to strengthen us and carry in all our afflictions and distresses. Only when we strip ourselves of all self-reliance will we experience the strength of God’s grace, gained for us Paschal Sacrifice of the Beloved Son. When we strip ourselves of the old man of sin and clothe ourselves in the new man of righteousness and grace, we will come to now the joy and freedom of the children of God. Having been made new in Christ, we need to forget the things that were behind. Transformed by grace we need to reach forth, stretch ourselves towards that point in which we become more and more like Christ. Members of the Body of Christ gird themselves in Christ and set their hearts upon their heavenly homeland. If we call ourselves Christians, we must serve the Lord in spirit and in truth, setting our hopes on the grace brought to us through Our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord returns at the end of time, may He bring us all together into everlasting life.
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