to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
I thought of sharing today's readings after reading Father Rory's thoughts on them. I subscribe to Joynotes from Sister Patricia and that is how I access Father's 'virtual retreat' but he also has his own blog.
Here are his thoughts from today's readings:
Each of Paul's epistles sparkle with a unique brilliance - the Letter to the Ephesians is particularly rich in doctrinal contemplation, and you'll certainly find it more upbeat than the tough corrective Letter to the Galatians which we just finished!
You simply cannot read this letter quickly - like a well-distilled liqueur, the words must be savored, and imbibed slowly and thoughtfully. Consider just these opening verses, in which Paul recalls that
- God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens"
- God chose us for holiness "before the foundation of the world"
- God adopted us as His beloved children through the incarnation of His Son
- the Blood of Christ wrought our redemption, the forgiveness of sins
- God has enlightened us with Divine Revelation
and each of these is but a poor simplified summary of Paul's more concentrated phrases!
So, as you read, be content for the moment to merely focus on any one of Paul's points that inspires you most intensely, and ask God to help you to realize the richness of the blessings we have in Christ Jesus!