the "in" crowd
"In Him..." —Ephesians 1:4, 11, 13
St. Paul is completely preoccupied with being in Jesus. In today's passage from Ephesians, Paul mentions benefits and blessings that come from being in Jesus numerous times in twelve verses. Paul is underscoring the critical differences of our location: it makes an eternal difference whether we live our life in Jesus or outside of Jesus. Paul proclaims that in Jesus we:
- have "every spiritual blessing in the heavens" (Eph 1:3),
- have been "chosen" before the world began, to be holy and blameless (Eph 1:4, 11, 13),
- have been chosen "to be full of love" (Eph 1:4),
- have "glorious favor...bestowed on us" (Eph 1:6), and
- "have been redeemed and our sins forgiven" (Eph 1:7).
The best way to be in Jesus is to have Jesus in you. Most of you have received the eucharistic Jesus today. Jesus reveals that the person "who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me," and He will remain in them (Jn 6:56; see also Jn 17:23).
However, in our God-given free will, we can choose to not be in Jesus, but rather be separated from Him. As the song goes, we can go through life saying, "I did it my way." There's a place for those who have chosen not to be in Jesus. "This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called 'hell' " (Catechism, 1033).
Jesus says: "Live on in Me" (Jn 15:4). What's your choice?
Prayer: Jesus, of my own choice, I tell You: the life I live now is not my own. I want You to always live in me (Gal 2:19-20).
Promise: "The Lord Himself will give His benefits." —Ps 85:13
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, Who freely chose to leave the glory of heaven to suffer on earth for our salvation.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009
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