Faith is a process, something that is constantly maturing, adapting and growing throughout our lives. Paul talks about this as something that won’t reach its completion until the day of Jesus Christ. However, this is not something we do on our own, this is God’s good work; faith is a gift. Our challenge is to be open to the love of God being poured into our lives so that it might overflow through us into the world around us.
It is not by Paul’s own efforts that he is able to be grateful even while in prison; rather, it is the natural result of being filled by God’s love and mercy. Paul’s encounter with the living Christ opened him up to the fullness of God’s grace, and now Paul shares that message of God’s unmerited love and acceptance with anyone who will listen.
Paul also recognizes the importance of a faith community in this task of proclaiming the gospel. He tells the Philippians that he knows they hold him in their hearts, that this relationship established through love remains even though circumstances separate them. This is an example of love overflowing, splashing the grace of God everywhere.
God of abundant love, pour out your love into our hearts that we might be filled to overflowing with your grace, and thus filled, help us to share that love generously with others. Amen. — DH