lost and found
"I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent." —Luke 15:7
Paul thought of himself as a magnificent Jew — he could follow the rules, the law, better than the rest. Paul said: "If anyone thinks he has a right to put his trust in external evidence, all the more can I...I was above reproach when it came to justice based on the law" (Phil 3:4, 6). Then Jesus came into his life, struck him blind (Acts 9:3-9), and he repented of his prideful, overgenerous evaluation of himself. Are you like Paul in any way? Is any pride in your accomplishments keeping you from the Lord?
Paul realized that he was nothing without Christ. His rule-following competition with himself and with others was getting him nowhere. He gave himself to Christ, living only for Him (Gal 2:20). Paul testified that the complete and total accomplishment of his life was "the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For His sake I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my Wealth" (Phil 3:8).
After meeting the risen Christ, Paul advised his friends: "I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God" (Rm 12:1). He added, "I warn each of you not to think more highly of himself than he ought" (Rm 12:3). With his new heart, Paul proclaimed: "Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead" (Phil 3:11). And the Lord rejoiced, when he, who was lost, was found (Lk 15:6, 10).
Prayer: Father, may I live and breathe for an audience of One, living my life entirely for You.
Promise: "I tell you, there will be the same kind of joy before the angels of God over one repentant sinner." —Lk 15:10
Praise: St. Charles counted Christ as his Wealth as he chose to live a simple lifestyle, giving away his substantial revenue to the poor.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004