But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke” —we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence.
Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today is the Feast of St. James, one of the first disciples and Jesus’ closest friends. Long time ago though it was, we remember St. James because he was with Jesus at some of the most crucial junctures of his life: the Transfiguration on the mountaintop, the long night between the Last Supper and the Passion. In our own age of searching and journeying, St. James is remembered not so much for the friendships he kept as for lending his name to the long and hugely popular pilgrimage route that follows the coast of Spain called the Santiago de Compostela.
Sometimes (often when I’m succumbing to the dull weight of expectations or feeling the gap between such and my ability to live up to them) it’s a surprise to me that in Anno Domini 2013 such religious pilgrimages are more popular than they’ve ever been. And yet at other times I am less surprised, more grateful because what (I believe) so many seek on those long Spanish roads is what human beings have always sought.
It’s the same thing we hear Paul reminding the Corinthians of, and Jesus reprimanding his friends (yes, even St. James) about, it’s the good news: that the treasure we seek cannot be lost because it is not ours to lose but God’s to give. The good news: that the gift we are given is to live our greatness together as humble, loving servants of one another and of the poorest and most vulnerable.
—Fr. Patrick “Paddy” Gilger, SJ, was ordained on June 15, 2013, and is serving as Associate Pastor of St. John’s Parish, Creighton University, Omaha. Click here for an Ignatian News Network video on ordination featuring Fr. Gilger.
Lord, we search for that which will brings us true success. We seek for our families that which will bring them enduring fulfillment. You have given us the pathway to such joy. “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all” Today may our decisions and the ways we spend our time follow your call to greatness.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!