…I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power
through His Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge
– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us,
to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen.
– Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
POPE FRANCIS REFLECTS ON THIS PASSAGE…
Speaking on this passage, Pope Francis tells us
that the language that Paul uses is, in fact, “a timeless language, a grandiose, expansive language:
Paul speaks of the riches of God’s glory;
he speaks of comprehending the breadth, the length, the height, the depth;
to know the Christ who surpasses, the Christ who causes us to be filled with all fullness.”
Indeed it is “a timeless language, incapable of being understood in the sense of comprehending”,
because it is “almost without a horizon”.
Paul “adores this God who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
according to that power the He has even in time, for all generations, for ever and ever”.
It is an outright “act of adoration, an experience before this God
who is like a sea without shores, without limits, an immense ocean”.
And “Paul’s heart, his soul, kneel before God”.
“In this act of adoration”, the Pope Francis affirms,
“Paul tells us of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
And “what does Paul ask, for himself, for the Church … and for all of us?”.
Turning to “the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named”,
Paul asks first “to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self”.
Beyond this he asks “the Father that the Spirit come and strengthen us, give us might”.
He knows well that “one cannot go forward without the Spirit’s might.
Our might is weak. One cannot be a Christian without the grace of the Spirit”.
Indeed, “it is precisely the Spirit who changes our heart,
who enables us to go forward in virtue in order to fulfil the Commandments”.
Then, Paul “asks for another grace of God, but through Christ:
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”,
and thus be “rooted and grounded in love”.
He basically “asks for the presence of Christ,
that He may make us grow in charity, but rooted in love, grounded in love”.
And also, he asks the Father for the ability
“to comprehend … the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge”,
which is beyond comprehension.
But then, “how can I understand what is beyond comprehension?.
Paul’s answer is clear: “Through this act of adoration of that Great Immensity”.
The Apostle affirms that the Father is able to do “far more than all we ask or imagine”. Even miracles, of course.
“But we cannot imagine what the Father can do by the power at work within us”.
Paul then ends this adoration with praise: “to Him be Glory…forever and ever”.
Pope Francis explains that before us is the “mystical experience of Paul,
who teaches us the prayer of praise and the prayer of adoration”.
Thus, “before our smallness, our selfish interests (so many!) Paul bursts out in this praise, in this act of adoration”.
And he “asks the Father to send us the Spirit to give us the strength and power to go forward;
that He enable us to comprehend the love of Christ and that Christ strengthen us in love”.
And he says to the Father: “Thank you, because You are able to do what we do not even dare to imagine”.
This “is a beautiful prayer” of Paul’s, whose words also apply to us today
because “it’s good for us to think this way, it’s good for us, too, to praise God”.
Yes, “it does us good to praise God,
to enter into this expansive world of grandiosity, of generosity and of love”.
And, Pope Francis concludes,
“it does us good because in this way we are able to go forward in the great Commandment
– the one Commandment that is the basis of all the others –
which is love: love God and love your neighbour”.
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
Come, Holy Spirit, and help me grasp
how wide and long and high and deep is Jesus’ love for me.
Come, Holy Spirit, that I may seek to love like Jesus. .