Saint Paul had everything. He was well-respected and highly educated. He had a pristine family lineage. By all accounts, he was an outstanding and faithful, practicing Jew. He had social status as well. In his letter to the Philippians (3:5-6), St. Paul writes, “If anyone else thinks he can be confident in the flesh, all the more can I. Circumcised on the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee, in zeal I persecuted the Church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.”
St. Paul realizes, however, that even though he had possessed many things, had worked his way to the top, and enjoyed power and prestige and the admiration of others, that all of this is nothing when compared to his relationship with Jesus Christ. He says, “But whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (PHIL 3:7-8)
Are we still seeking the things of this world? Are we still hoping that power, prestige, wealth, and physical excess will bring us fulfillment in our lives? All that we see in our world as “good” is nothing compared to the one who IS Goodness itself, Jesus Christ. We oftentimes try to fill our lives with these lesser gains, materialism and things that stroke our egos, but in the end, nothing will ultimately satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts, except the Lord. Father, help us to first seek you and the fulfillment of your kingdom. Help us to make that our priority, so that everything else in our world that reflects your goodness, will be held in proper perspective and not become a replacement or substitute for our true Joy, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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