Isaiah 55:6-9; Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18;Philippians 1:20-24, 27;Matthew 20:1-16
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)
Paul speaks today about his desire to bring glory to Jesus by the way he thinks and acts. Don’t his words about Christ being “magnified” in his body sound a lot like Mary’s desire to magnify the Lord (Philippians 1:20; Luke 1:46)?
Essentially, Paul was telling the Philippians that he would rather die than live so that he could be in heaven with Jesus. And yet he was still committed to serving the Church until the day when the Lord would call him home. He was content either way, for in both situations he was magnifying the Lord.
This kind of thinking runs opposite to our normal philosophy, doesn’t it? We typically prefer living. We usually have fears about dying, about the unknown, and about judgment day. We also tend to be a little more self-concerned than Paul seems in this passage!
Still, we may not be in as bad shape as we think. Deep down, beyond the fear and the selfishness, we all sense that heaven will be fantastic. We sense that meeting Jesus face-to-face will be the best moment of our lives. Sometimes, we even find ourselves thinking, “I can’t wait to go to heaven!”
These aren’t just random theological thoughts, either. They have a direct bearing on our everyday lives. This is especially true with parents. Think about how, in spite of their occasional selfishness, mothers and fathers pour out their lives for their children. They devote so much time, energy, and money to their families. Like Paul, they prefer to stay where they are so that they can continue to serve and form their children.
This is why it is critical for parents to conduct themselves in a way worthy of the gospel. The jury may be out on “trickle-down economics,” but “trickle-down parenting” works. Parents who love Jesus, who honor each other, who pray together, and who train their children in virtue will see their children flourish.
“Lord, show me how to magnify your life for the benefit of my family.”~WAU