From The Word Among Us:
My joy and crown … stand firm in the Lord. (Philippians 4:1)
Not only was St. Paul passionate about his faith, he was also highly educated. He was well versed in the Hebrew Scriptures as well as in Jewish and Roman law. He was fluent in multiple languages and was an accomplished debater as well. But in spite of all these achievements, Paul considered the people he served to be his true “crown.” Every person, whether educated or uneducated, rich or poor, Jew or Greek, held a special place in his heart. In today’s second reading, as he encourages his friends in Philippi to stand firm, Paul can’t help but tell them how deeply he treasures them.
If these people were jewels in Paul’s crown, how much more are we all jewels in Jesus’ crown! Each one of us, regardless of our achievements, skills, history, or social status, is a precious treasure to the Lord. He considers each of us—yes, even you—worth his time and his energy. You are so valuable to him, in fact, that he became a man and willingly shed his own blood in order to win you back to his Father.
The thought that we are so valuable to Jesus can help us to stand firm—just as the Philippians stood firm. Knowing that the Lord of all creation considers us so important can strengthen us in the battle against temptation. It can reveal to us the great dignity that we have in Christ. It can convince us that we don’t have to settle for a lesser experience of God’s love and grace. If Jesus considers each of us worth dying for, surely we can consider him worth living for!
At Mass today, we will hear the story of Jesus’ transfiguration. As you do, picture yourself on that mountain with Jesus. Tell yourself that he went through the cross so that you could be transfigured with him in heaven. You are of infinite value to the Lord. You certainly can stand firm because of his love for you!
“Lord Jesus, show me how precious I am to you.”
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Have a blessed Sunday!