Therefore, gird up your minds: I Peter 1:13-25

thumbnail25This week, we are being given nourishment in order to prod our minds out of any kind of wimpiness we’ve allowed into our thoughts and wills.  Getting into the following Scriptures with some discipline can actually get rid of our brain-flab!

Therefore….says Peter:  In other words, because you know who you are, a true and beloved child of the Father, in and through Christ the Son (see verse 3),  by the amazing power of the Holy Spirit of God (see verse 12)….

…gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (verse 13):  it is this revealed fact, and the lively hope we have because of it, that we confidently express together every time we proclaim the Mystery of Faith after the eucharistic prayer and the words of consecration in the liturgy.  We say, “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again”; or, “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again”; or, “Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.”

St. Peter says in verses 10-13, The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation;…It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you… Some cross references which can help one ponder the meaning of all this are Matthew 13:17;  Luke 17:24-30;  Ephesians 6:14;  and Colossians 3:1-4.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy” (verses 14-16):  See Leviticus 11:44,45;  Romans 12:1,2;  I Thessalonians 4:7,8; and  I John 3:2,3.  Also, importantly, there is a section in Part Three of the Catechism which has authoritative teaching concerning Christian Holiness;  it is CCC 2012-2016.

Verse 17 ends,… conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.  “What an odd way for anyone other than refugees to look at life!” we might think.  The Catholic Commentary discusses this idea of living as though in exile:  “Twice in this letter Peter addresses his Christian audience as ‘sojourners,’ or ‘aliens’ (1:1; 2:11), and here (verse 17) he tells us how we should act in the time of our ‘sojourning” [or, exile].  The root meaning of this word is deeply instructive.  ‘Sojourning’ is literally ‘dwelling beside’ (paroikia).  A related form of this word…is ‘one who dwells beside’ (paroikos).  The root word is ‘house’ (oikos);  the one who dwells ‘beside the house’ (paroikos) is a neighbor, and this is the original meaning of the word.  But it came to mean ‘sojourner’ or ‘alien,’ one who is not dwelling in one’s own house, but who lives among others in a foreign land.  Why is this instructive?  Our English word ‘parish’ derives from paroikia.  The local church–our parish–is meant to be the gathering of Christian ‘sojourners’ and ‘aliens’ who are far from their true home.  And what is our true home?  It is where God dwells; it is eternal life with God and his people.”  (CCSS, pp.45,46)

Here are some cross-references to help us meditate on the beautiful final passage of chapter 1,  found in verses 18-25:  Isaiah 52:3, and 53:4-6;  John 1:1-13;  all of Isaiah 40, especially verses 6-8;  and John 3:3.

Shalom,  JC