The first reading of today, Monday in Week 23: Col 1,24 – 2,3:
Brothers and sisters:I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,and in my flesh I am filling upwhat is lacking in the afflictions of Christon behalf of his Body, which is the Church,of which I am a ministerin accordance with God’s stewardship given to meto bring to completion for you the word of God,the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,to whom God chose to make known the riches of the gloryof this mystery among the Gentiles;it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.It is he whom we proclaim,admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.For this I labor and struggle,in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for youand for those in Laodiceaand all who have not seen me face to face,that their hearts may be encouragedas they are brought together in love,to have all the richness of assured understanding,for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Paul, utterly fascinated with Christ:
“the mystery hidden for ages, and now revealed
“the mystery of God, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Paul, aware that Christ is in him, Christ is in us; and that his power is working in us to bring us to glory:
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
“in accord with his power working in me.”
The goal of formation:
“that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.”
The work of formation: to pay attention to Christ at work in us; to recognize this work; to give thanks.
C 95: The Salesian learns to meet God through those to whom he is sent.
He discovers in them the fruits of the Spirit, gives thanks, intercedes and prays for them
To which we might add, from the reading of today: He makes up in his flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.
Not easy to understand what this means. Or perhaps not easy to accept.
The redemptive value of suffering. Not just any suffering, but suffering that comes from loving and having loved; and accepted in love.
Mothers and fathers probably have firsthand experience of this kind of suffering.
What might be our experience, as salesians, of such suffering? Where has been such suffering in our lives? It cannot have been entirely absent. Perhaps we have just not been attentive to it, aware of it? For when one does not have a category, one can look and yet not see...