(Part 67)


September 7, 2015

Today’s reading:  Colossians 1:24-2:3

The work of evangelization starts with proclaiming Christ, so that people might meet him and know him. “It is he whom we proclaim” (v.1:28a). But the work does not end there. From meeting Christ, one is to live Christ, to grow in being a true Christian. Thus our work includes formation, “admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom” (v.1:28b). The ultimate aim is holiness and Christian perfection. We work so “that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (v.1:28c). Then that would be the fullness of the good news of salvation in Jesus.

For all that to happen, we need to share Christ, to be his witnesses. We do divine work. We have been commissioned and given a responsibility. As such, every evangelizer ought to follow in the footsteps of Paul, who says “I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God” (v.1:25). We are stewards of God’s plan and work.

Wow. That is intimidating and challenging work! But we are provided the grace we need and empowered by the Spirit. So we can confidently go ahead and do what we are called to do. “For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.” (v.1:29).

Now Jesus suffered. We too will suffer. Let there be no romantic notions about doing mission. But then again, we are to have the attitude of Paul. “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake” (v.1:24a). What? Rejoice in suffering? Why? Well, this is where we need to grow in “the knowledge of the mystery of God” (v.2:2c). This is the reality of the mystery of suffering: “in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.” (v.1:24b). We participate in the suffering of Christ, whose Church, his body on earth, continues to suffer.

Such suffering brings us to holiness and Christian perfection. “It is Christ in you, the hope for glory. (v.1;27b).

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