The Apostle Paul reminds us that we do not speak a wisdom of this age, a worldly wisdom, but a wisdom of God. As Christian disciples, we live by a different wisdom than that of this age and of our current culture. Our lives are governed by principles, beliefs, virtues that the world thinks foolish. Jesus illustrates some of those in the Gospel. Sure, I may not have murdered anyone, but have I called someone a fool or an idiot – even through the television or the radio? Sure, I may not have technically committed adultery, but have I viewed pornography or looked with lust at another person and not exercised the virtue of chastity? Sure, I may not have divorced my spouse and contributed to the downfall of the relationship, but what have I done to foster and nurture my marriage spiritually, emotionally, and incarnationally? Have I sacrificed for my spouse (a good practice would be to fast once a week for your spouse)? Sure, I haven’t deceived anyone or lied to anyone to take advantage of them, but have I been truthful in my words and deeds?
Jesus tells us to go deeper than worldly wisdom. Our lives should be governed by charity (a deep sacrificial love for our spouses and others – the virtue of chastity tells us how we should love another person given the state of life in which we live and our relationship to that person), by hope (not despairing in the present condition or our family, relationships, city, country, church, etc…but have our eyes fixed on Jesus and love the person in front of us), and by faith (acknowledging that God is in control and He works all things for the salvation of every single person (including me)). My brothers and sisters in Christ, the wisdom of God is not like the wisdom of this age. Therefore, be transformed by the renewal of your mind and do not conform yourself to the wisdom of this age (Romans 12:2). The wisdom of God leads to life, abundant life! My prayer for you is this abundant life – a life far beyond your wildest dreams (a life lived according to the wisdom of God brings this about in you)!
This weekend, I am in Augusta to celebrate with my family and the Alleluia Community the 50th Anniversary of this intentional covenant ecclesial community! My parents moved my whole family (at that time we were 5 (now we are 9 not including spouses and nieces and nephews) from south Louisiana to join this group of Christian disciples in living a life that did not conform to the wisdom of the age, but encouraged each other to live a life according to the wisdom of God in all things. These men and women assist each other daily and commit their lives to each other in charity, hope, and faith. I grew up here in a subdivision in South Augusta. So, I am up there this weekend to celebrate with them!
Speaking of the Wisdom of God! Since the middle of June 2022, we have been on quite a journey, you and I! God is doing amazing things in you and in me through this adventure of dealing with this cancer! May the good work He has begun be brought to completion and glorious fruition!
Next weekend, February 18-19, will be my last weekend celebrating mass in the church and visiting with our church family for a while. I am planning on going up to Atlanta on Saturday, February 24th, to prepare for my surgery on Tuesday, February 28th. I will spend 7-10 days in the hospital and then return here to St. James for my continued recovery from surgery. I do not know how long the recovery will be and when I will begin to resume my duties around the parish, but I hope that I will at least be able to celebrate the Triduum with you and rejoice with you at the Resurrection after a long Lent!
Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and support as we journey together through Phase II of battling this cancer! You are such an encouragement to me and a blessing! I am so blessed and privileged to have you, individually and as a St. James family, walk with me through this time and adventure! What a support and blessing you are to me! I thank God constantly for you in my prayers and I pray for you and your families and all your intentions! What a gift you are to me!
May the Lord Jesus grant you and your family many wonderful blessings this week!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin