Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Romans 9:1-5
Gospel Luke 14:1-6

"…the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."

We will hear from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Philippians for about one week at weekday Mass. Today’s passage consists of the first eleven verses of Philippians. This introduction is heartfelt. St. Paul stresses the bonds that—through the grace of God—he shares with the members of the Church in Philippi: he gives thanks for what he calls “your partnership for the Gospel from the first day until now.” Of course this high praise has a purpose beyond giving thanks to the Philippians.

If we were to sum up this introduction in one word, it would be “perseverance”. In the midst of this introduction St. Paul states that he is “confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Likewise at the conclusion of the introduction, he offers a prayer for the Philippians: “that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value”. As Christians, we give thanks for the past, and rejoice in the grace of our current moment. But we ought never stop begging God for His grace, that we might always persevere in growing in His likeness.