During our time together last Monday, I spoke to you of Ephesus and how it’s letter is addressed to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus, making it a letter addressed to all of Asia since Ephesus was its capital.
I also spoke of how Ephesians is a liturgical letter that sings of our eternal purpose in the Father and in the Church won by Christ. This is made obvious in the opening verse of the canticle, “Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Eph. 1:3). It emphasizes how our purpose serves a greater divine dream than what we are able to comprehend here on this little hill in Vallejo.
Tonight, I’d like to continue further in the Canticle of Ephesians: “even before he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph 1:4).
Let me say a few things about holiness and to be without blame and reference it all to being chosen in Jesus.
1. To be holy & blameless: After this canticle, Paul will use his letter to speak about daily conduct. He speaks of how we must be rooted and grounded in love so that “we may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that [we] may be filled with the fullness of God.”
Holiness is not a personal achievement for personal success. It is grounded and rooted in someone greater than ourselves. To grow in holiness is never to grow alone, we grow with the communion of saints, who teach us how to give up our lives for others. Holiness is attractive more than it is fashionable! What does that mean? Holiness is unavoidable because God is a persistent lover. It means that while a rosary around your neck displays piety and godliness, without charity, without caring for the poor and marginalized …. The rosary simply remains a fashionable statement.
2. To be chosen in Jesus: I’ve learned in being a gentleman, a man must always choose the seat for a lady as a way of service and not of command. If they go out to eat and their is a beautiful view, he must always choose the seat in which she can enjoy the view. If there is a blank wall, he must always sit facing the blank wall, so that all his attention is on the lady alone.
When there was a blank wall, nothingness in creation, God chose you, adored you, and treated you with such tenderness that nothing else mattered except you. Before anything came to be …. There was you, chosen in Jesus as his beloved.
So, to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus, every moment in life is a moment lived in communion with the holy ones to grow firmly towards the attractive holiness of God. After all, God loves you persistently, incessantly, and certainly.