“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 3-9
Love transforms. When we come to love another, truly love them, we become humble and put ourselves at the service of the other. In human relationships this can lead people to come to know their faults and work to overcome them for the sake of the other – out of love. So too in our relationship with God: the more we come to love him the more we want to be like him, and so we begin to take the virtues more seriously. At that point, we grab every opportunity to grow in virtue, and we see that suffering has a part to play. We suffer because we love, and we are transformed. Facing challenges to our faith, even persecution, we do so with fidelity to God, out of love for him, and in that we will be transformed – not because our bodies or minds can bear pain, but because we bear it for love of Christ, and it brings us closer to him, and in him we are changed.
Among our intentions today, we pray that all followers of Christ will strive to grow in virtue and holiness for his sake.