Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
(Philippians 3:3-8a; Luke 15:1-10)
A man speaks of his experience of God. He says that when he learned of his wife having breast cancer, he felt particularly low. He went into church that evening as he usually does to lock up, in the dark he felt the Lord taking him into His arms and holding him. From then on, the man knew that everything was going to be all right. Almost certainly St. Paul refers to an experience such as this in the first reading today.
Paul is never ashamed of being a Jew. Quite the contrary, he knows that Jews have been chosen by God to bear the divine promise of salvation. He is likewise almost gleeful to have been faithful to the Covenant between God and Israel. But Paul is also certain that in the end, being a Jew is not all that important. It is much more rewarding to have encountered Jesus Christ. As he so uncompromisingly states, “…I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
We too know the Lord Jesus. If we have not felt the all-encompassing embrace of his arms already, we are likely to do so shortly. He loves us and will protect us from the ultimate harm of being lost and never found.