Today is the second day in Lent, and we hear from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He writes:
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. (Phil. 3:17-21).
Paul is moved to tears for those who he calls enemies of the cross of Christ. Why are they Christ’s enemies? Their focus is solely on themselves and on their search for pleasure. Paul calls those who follow Jesus to look beyond the self, to look beyond the immediate and to give ourselves over to what Jesus would have us do, and in doing Jesus’ will, we will be transformed and become more like Christ.
Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Next Wednesday, the 17th of February 2016, we will meet at Grace Episcopal Church at 6 PM for Eucharist, followed by a light super, and then the presentation by our first Lenten speaker, The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb is Meade Professor of Biblical Interpretation and New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially John, Katie, Pat, Gladys, Helen, Karen, and those who are alone.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550