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
My wife and her best friend walked the Camino de Santiago – the Way of St. James – during graduate school. To this day, they lovingly call each other “pilgrim.” The title is imbued with affection, a signifier of a deep physical and spiritual sharing. But, it is more than that.
Pilgrims who walk the camino describe their reliance on others as transformative. A self-emptying is involved; a death to anything but what God provides. St. Ignatius calls this “indifference.” St. Paul calls it “carrying about in the body of a dying Jesus”.
To be a pilgrim is to embrace our full humanity. It is a journey toward dependence on God and community, a journey toward self-awareness of our human holiness. When we read that “we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,” Christ is the treasure and we are the vessels. Be a pilgrim; embrace him.
In what aspect of your life do you resist letting go and embracing Jesus? With whom will you share this?
—Mark Bartholet is the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation at St. Peter Catholic Church, a Jesuit-staffed parish in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also a graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me and I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all I am doing. I will trust you always, though I may seem lost. I will not fear for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
—Thomas MertonPlease share the Good Word with your friends!