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Sunday, April 3, 2022

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

Isaiah 43:16-21
Philippians 3:8-14
Psalm 126:1-6
John 8:1-11

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“I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.” —Philippians 3:8

Because of Paul’s “surpassing knowledge” of Jesus, he came to rate all as loss. Paul’s personal relationship with Jesus changed the “ratings” in his life. Things he used to rate high were reassessed as worthless and empty.

All of us have a “surpassing knowledge.” Usually, our knowledge of and attraction to pleasure surpasses all else. For many people, even Christians, food, entertainment, TV programs, money, or lifestyle rate the highest. These surpass everything else.

Eventually, we experience a “surpassing knowledge” of tragedy and/or death. This changes our ratings. In the face of death, we now rate as loss those things for which we formerly lived. We feel so empty and regret that we’ve wasted our lives. We feel condemned by the vain, empty priorities of our past life.

However, the surpassing knowledge of tragedy and/or death, which surpassed our preoccupation with pleasure, can itself be surpassed by the personal knowledge of Jesus. When we totally give our lives to Jesus, we no longer stand condemned by the empty priorities of our past (see Rm 8:1). These vanities and regrets all disappear (see Jn 8:10). We give “no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead” (Phil 3:13). Life in Christ is not merely meaningless stimulation but real excitement. Because of our knowledge of Jesus, life is a race, not a drag (see Phil 3:12). Live in the light of the surpassing knowledge of Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, “I wish to know Christ” (Phil 3:10).

Promise:  “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” —Is 43:19

Praise:  “But Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise; awake and sing, you who lie in the dust” (Is 26:19). Praise the risen Jesus!

Reference:  (The Lord is with you in all battles of life. Join us for the Spiritual Warfare: The Battle Belongs to the Lord retreat April 8-10. Call 513-373-2397 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from April 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio August 3, 2021"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.