St. Peter Claver, Priest

Reading Colossians 1:21-23
Gospel Luke 6:1-5

…persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel….

Following yesterday's majestic hymn about the transcendent Christ, Saint Paul in today's First Reading from Colossians speaks plainly to sinners. Just as Paul addressed the Colossians as those who had been redeemed in Christ but who were—at the time of his writing—struggling to remain faithful, so we also are addressed today: we who know very well the experience of sin, and its consequent forms of alienation.
Paul's address to the Colossians here has two parts, focusing first on Christ and then on them. Paul reminds the Colossians that their reconciliation was won "in the fleshly Body of Christ through His death". But the Colossians, for their part, must imitate Christ. Here we ought to put ourselves in the shoes of the Colossians. We are "holy, without blemish" if we "persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel". The key to persevering in faith, and standing fast in hope, is to live in love. This love is ours in the person of Jesus.