28th Week OT (F)
Paul taught us yesterday that were are created, chosen, and blessed in Christ so that we might return to our Father holy and w/o blemish. Today he teaches us that we are also chosen in accord with His purpose: to exist for the praise of His glory. Aristotle and Aquinas teach us that to know the nature of a thing is to know its purpose, its telos. And knowing a thing's purpose tells everything we need to know about how that thing is properly ordered in the world while fulfilling its purpose. If we exist to praise God's glory, – that is, our purpose is to praise God – then how do we properly order our thoughts, words, and deeds towards reaching our telos? First, you must know and understand who you are in Christ Jesus. Before you were created, you were chosen and blessed. Chosen to be a son, a daughter of the Most High. Chosen to be His child and heir to His kingdom. You are Christ – imperfect right now – but being made perfect with the freedom won for you on the Cross. Second, you must know and understand that you are free. Free from sin. Free from death. Blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavens to live and thrive as one who is becoming Christ. Third, you must freely give all that you have received. You have received mercy. Be merciful. You have received love. Be loving. You have received faith. Be faithful. You are a gift, so freely give. Lastly, and most importantly, in thought, word, and deed, you must give God thanks and praise for the gift of His Holy Spirit – the first installment of your inheritance. Who is this HS? He is the Love with which the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. We participate in their love as a gift, becoming sharers in the divine nature. To the degree that we love as He loves us, we become more and more like Love Himself. Aquinas tells us that love causes joy. Joy is an effect of love. So, ask yourself: am I joyful? Do I exude divine love in such a way that others see Christ through me? Do my words and deeds give God thanks and praise for my inheritance? If someone were to observe me at prayer, would they see joy, or anguish? Would they want to join me in prayer, or avoid me? If you are not joyful at being made Christ, remember this: you exist to praise God's glory. He created you. Chose you. And blessed you so that you can come to Him holy and unblemished. You are gift from Him, made to be given back to Him.