Today, we begin readings from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians. Paul appears to have a great love for these converts because of how they welcomed him and because of their generosity to the poor. Paul seems convinced that God had begun good work in them and that he would bring that good work to completion, and Paul takes time out of his life to acknowledge his appreciation in this letter to the faith community in Philippi.
The Philippians were moved from conversion into service. This is in direct contrast to the attitude of the Pharisees in today’s Gospel who objected to Jesus’ healing of the man with dropsy on the Sabbath. They were more concerned with legalism than with the spirit of the law. Jesus demonstrates that coming to the help of others in need is what he calls us to do.
We all need to know that we are truly appreciated. God has begun good work in us and in others. He wants to bring it to completion by forming us into a people who reflect his kingdom here on earth.
Lord…….Help us today to offer words of love and encouragement to those who come into our lives today. Many people may come and go during our day. Help us to be especially grateful for those who leave footprints on our heart.
Deacon Brian Clements is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.