Day 341: Eternal Weight of Glory

Acts 20:1-12 At Troas, we see another confirmation that the Christians met to celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays, the first day of the week and the day of Christ’s Resurrection. Their meetings were known simply as the “breaking of the bread,” so references along those lines indicate a Eucharistic celebration. Even the structure of the liturgy, with its preaching on the Gospel and sharing of the Eucharist, is familiar in the Mass in the present day. (CCC 1193, 1329, 1343, 2180-2183, 2698)

Ch 20:13-38 Wanting to celebrate Pentecost in Jerusalem, Paul decided to leave Ephesus after meeting with the elders of the city. His heartfelt address to them recalled his trials and efforts in his nearly three years in the city and encouraged the Church leaders to keep the Faith strong even amid the adversity and persecution. Paul was detached from his own life and safety and always risked arrest and even death wherever he went-the very persecution that Christ promised his disciples would experience. (CCC 1716)

Ch 20:28-30 Guardians: The Greek episkopos is the source of the word “bishop.” The terminology of the Church’s hierarchy and particular ministerial offices would be worked out in more precise terms in the years to come. Bishops are the direct successors to the Apostles. As the chief shepherds, they are appointed to lead and watch over the flock of Christ.

Obtained with his blood: The Church was instituted by Christ himself through his act of redemption as the means for human persons to find salvation. Because she offers the Sacraments as the source of sanctifying grace for the faithful, the Church is the Sacrament of Salvation for all the world. (CCC 181, 780)

Ch 20:32 Grace: By grace we have the gift of faith and the means to grow ever closer to God; by grace we are justified and granted salvation.

To build you up: This refers to the Word of God; the Gospel serves as spiritual nourishment and a source of growth in the life of Christ. The Church has always venerated the Scriptures, which, together with Sacred Tradition, make up the Deposit of Faith.

Sanctified: The Holy Spirit sanctifies the faithful and bestows on them various charisms, or gifts, for building up of the Christian community. (CCC 798, 2017-2025)

Ch 20:33-35 Paul preached without pay and earned his living as a tentmaker (cf. Acts 18:3).

It is more blessed...receive: This saying attributed to Christ appears nowhere in the four Gospels; it is part of the oral tradition of the Church. The Gospel message was transmitted almost exclusively by word of mouth for many years before it was set down in writing. (CCC 126)

Ch 20:36 Kneeling is a traditional posture for prayer, a gesture of humility and adoration. It is retained in the Church’s liturgies. Since the human person is composed of both body and spirit, it is fitting that prayer involves the senses with physical gestures as well as a contemplative reflection with both mind and heart. An appropriate prayer posture helps us to express our interior dispositions in an outward, physical way. (CCC 2636, 2702-2703)

2 Corinthians 3:1-3 Letters of recommendation were not unusual in the first century. Representatives of governments and other authorities assigned to a particular task in another city would bring a letter of introduction and a written mandate as their credentials. The early Church, in sending forth its evangelizers, would have them bring letters of recommendation as well. Paul’s adversaries in Corinth may have had such a letter, authentic or not, ostensibly from the Apostles; Paul struck at the heart of Christian witness by saying that their life must be likened to a living letter when speaking about Christ. (CCC 700)

Ch 3:4-18 Against his critics, Paul explained that the Law of the New Covenant, which is written on the heart, is superior to the Old Law written on stone. With God’s revelation in Christ, the “veil” that had obscured the meaning of the Old Testament had been removed, and the Gospel preached by Christ gave Scripture its complete meaning and fulfillment. Whereas the Law proved to be an unbearable burden, Christ through the Holy Spirit sets us free by bestowing upon us the grace to live the charity of Christ, which is the perfection of the Law. (CCC 121-123, 128-130, 133-135, 1965-1972)

Ch 3:5-6 Our sufficiency: Paul claimed no special talent for preaching. He makes it abundantly clear that it is the grace of God that makes him effective. When God calls us to a particular mission, he also gives the necessary graces.

Ministers of a new covenant: This is a description of Paul’s mission, which was to introduce the world to the Good News of salvation through Christ, whose Death and Resurrection ushered in a new relationship between God and man. (CCC 307, 736, 859, 873, 1541)

Ch 3:14-16 Christ and his redemptive message are found in the Old Testament, albeit under a veil. Typology is the study of those events and figures in the Old Testament that prefigure events and figures in the New Testament. For example, the manna that the Israelites received from Heaven prefigures Christ, the Bread from Heaven, which Christians receive in the Eucharist. Through the teachings of Christ and the grace of the Holy Spirit, the hidden meaning of the Old Testament is unveiled. (CCC 600, 702, 1094, 2088)

Ch 3:17 The Lord is the Spirit: A statement of the divinity of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit liberates the Christian from the Law not by dispensing the Law but by giving the grace to become a saine.

Spirit of the Lord: One of many terms Paul used to describe the Holy Spirit. (CCC 693, 1731, 1741)

Ch 3:18 We all...changed into his likeness: As we seek greater sanctity, the Holy Spirit gradually but increasingly forms us into the very image of Christ, especially through the purifying effect of suffering. (CCC 1112, 1701-1705)

Ch 4:1-6 Paul expanded upon the authenticity and sincerity of his mission.

We do not lose heart: Despite hardships, Paul kept fulfilling his apostolic mission with the help of grace.

Jesus Christ as Lord: The Greek Kyrios, translated as “Lord,” is used in the Greek Old Testament as the translation for YHWH, the name of God. To call Jesus “Lord” is to profess his divinity. (CCC 209, 446, 464-466, 748, 859, 2257)

Ch 4:4 The god of this world: Paul blamed Satan for deceiving the Corinthians. Christ’s Death and Resurrection is the definitive victory over the Devil, but until the end of time Christ’s disciples will need to struggle with considerable sacrifice against evil to extend the graces of the Redemption throughout the world. (CCC 37, 1701)

Ch 4:6 The prophet Isaiah wrote of how the image of light overcoming darkness was a sign of salvation (cf. Is 60:1-3). Just as the creation of the universe began with light, Paul compared the dawning light of faith as the emergence of the dawn of a new creation. God desires to give the light of faith to every person. (CCC 298, 2583)

Ch 4:7-12 Persecution, suffering, and rejection await all disciples of Christ, just as Christ himself had promised many times. Paul was no exception. By his life he also proved his assertion that grace will strengthen us in whatever pain and difficulties may come our way as long as we remain faithful to Christ. (CCC 1967)

Ch 4:7 Earthen vessels: Although our bodies are fragile and weak, through grace we carry the life of Christ. Applied to the ministers of the Church, Paul used this analogy as a way to explain again that Christ works through him, who dispenses grace to those whom Paul serves. (CCC 1420)

Ch 4:13-18 Hope in the resurrection and everlasting life can help us endure our hardships. A lifetime of pain is trivial in comparison to eternal happiness in Heaven. As we remain faithful, we are gradually being transformed in preparation for the next life, (CCC 988-989, 1817, 2637)

Ch 4:16 Outer man...inner man: The body and the soul, respectively. (CCC 1877, 2711)

Ch 5:1-10 A tentmaker by trade, Paul compared our earthly life to a tent-dwelling to emphasize that our present life is not permanent. The same comparison can be made to the tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant in the wilderness before the Temple was built to house it. While we look forward to life eternal, we must occupy ourselves doing the will of God in the here and now. (CCC 1051, 1420, 2796)

Ch 5:4 Unclothed...further clothed: In Heaven, following the resurrection of the dead, we will have an immortal and glorified body. The Greek thinkers of Paul’s day favored a dualistic view that viewed the next life as casting off the body entirely. (CCC 793, 997, 1042, 1060)

Ch 5:6 The Church will be perfected only in the Kingdom of Heaven and not without going through many tribulations on earth. (CCC 769)

Ch 5:7 We know Christ is always with us. Our certainty of Christ’s presence and love assures us that we will always be assisted and strengthened amid trials and tribulations. (CCC 164)

Ch 5:8 Away from the body: At the moment of death, the soul is separated from the body and judged. This is referred to as the Particular Judgment. Those souls who have led holy lives will be rewarded with the Beatific Vision of Heaven. Those in the state of grace who lack the perfection of sanctity will undergo purification in Purgatory. Those souls who refused God’s grace and friendship will be eternally separated from God in Hell. The soul will continue to exist apart from the body until it is reunited with the body at the resurrection of the dead, which will occur at the end of time. (CCC 1005, 1021, 1681)

Ch 5:10 At the end of time, each person will appear before the judgment seat to render an account of his or her life. The bodies of both the just and the damned will be reunited with their bodies. The just will receive their eternal reward, while those who rejected Christ and his teachings will be punished. This is referred to as the Last, or Final, Judgment. (CCC 1038)

Ch 5:11-21 Fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit that instills fear of offending God or of loving him insufficiently. Christ died for the sins of all people, and all who belong to him become a “new creation” reconciled with God. To continue this mission until he comes again, Christ gave his followers the mandate of preaching to all nations so all people might be brought to repentance and reconciliation with God. (CCC 981, 1424, 1800 2844)

Ch 5:14 The love of Christ urges us on: This phrase demonstrates that the zeal to spread the Gospel comes from a powerful interior life of love for Jesus Christ. (CCC 616, 851)

Ch 5:15 Grace transforms a Christian so the individual becomes like Christ in the order of love and mercy. (CCC 605, 655, 851)

Ch 5:16 When Paul was persecuting the Christians, he saw Jesus as a mere man who had been executed for his crimes but had a significant following of disciples. Once he encountered Jesus, he saw him for who he is, the Messiah, the Son of God. (CCC 454)

Ch 5:17 A new creation: The waters of Baptism cleanse us of Original Sin and give us new life in Christ. We die sacramentally with Christ and are raised up with him, created anew. By redeeming humanity, all of creation is made to share in Christ’s Redemption. (CCC 1213-1214, 1263-1265, 1999)

Ch 5:18-19 Just as Christ was sent by the Father to reconcile us to him, so does Christ send forth his ministers today to reconcile us through the Sacraments. (CCC 98, 433, 620, 1442, 1461-1467.)

Ch 5:20-21 He made him to be sin: The Greek amartian, translated as “sin,” has a couple of meanings: one is a transgression of the moral law, and the other is the sacrificial act or victim that atones for sin. The sense here is the latter one. Christ took on our humanity and became the victim in a sacrificial act so “we might become the righteousness of God.” The sacrifice of Christ has infinite value and enables us to be reconciled to the Father. To share in the bounty of Christ’s sacrifice, each individual must exhibit contrition and desire for interior and moral reform. (CCC 602-603, 859, 1424, 1442, 2844)

Proverbs 28:26 True wisdom is not of human origin but comes from God. To trust in one’s own judgment apart from God is reckless. As Paul wrote, “The wisdom of the world is folly with God.” (1 Cor 3:19). For the attainment of true perfection and fulfillment, it is crucial to form judgments and make decisions that reflect God’s judgments and that reflect his Law. The contrary attitude leads to personal degradation. (CCC 1520, 1843, 2547)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

  • GOSH!!

  • Acts of the Apostles is ACTION-PACKED!!


  • So Paul is on move in Troas

  • Acts 20:7, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them…”

  • Now to BREAK BREAD is CODE

  • Whenever you see GATHERING ON THE LORD'S DAY



  • This is CODE for THE MASS

  • So here is St. Paul and the Christians gathered together to say Mass, to participate in the Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

  • Paul preaches a little longer than maybe the people appreciated

  • The young man Eutychus is falling asleep during his sermon and falls off the roof

  • That gives a lot of comfort to a lot of preachers who might have put some people to sleep in their time

  • AND YET…

  • The grace here is not just that Eutychus fell asleep (and fell off the roof) because Paul was preaching so late into the night

  • But also that Paul bent over him and embraced him and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.”

  • We talked about this before that Peter almost RECAPITULATES THE LIFE OF JESUS in his life



  • There are CONVERSIONS like Jesus was able to bring about

  • Here is St. Paul who is very similar

  • Paul is doing a lot of what Jesus did

  • This is the message for ALL CHRISTIANS

  • The disciple does not become GREATER than the master

  • BUT…

  • The disciple is supposed to become LIKE THE MASTER

  • So we try to PRAY like Jesus prayed

  • We try to LIVE like Jesus lived

  • We try to have that same Spirit that dwelled inside of Jesus and raised him from the dead

  • Paul was able to participate in and raise young Eutychus from the dead as well

  • One of the powerful things is in Acts 20:23

  • Paul is traveling around and gives this address to the elders of the church at Ephesus

  • Acts 20:22-23, “And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, bound in the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there; except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.”

  • There is something SO POWERFUL about hearing St. Paul say this

  • “No, I realize that following after Jesus Christ and doing his work isn’t bringing me worldly peace. It isn’t bringing me worldly comfort. It isn’t bringing me all this success. I know that what awaits me is imprisonment and afflictions.”

  • And Paul doesn’t blame God for that

  • He doesn’t get mad at God about this

  • Acts 20:24, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”


  • Sometimes, we can get it into our heads that if we follow Jesus, it will be an EASY road

  • If I follow Jesus, then what are these obstacles doing here?

  • AND YET…

  • St. Paul has the heart of the Master

  • He has the heart of Jesus himself

  • Jesus, who knew he was going to experience PERSECUTION

  • Jesus, who knew he was going to experience TORTURE AND DEATH in Jerusalem

  • And nonetheless, he set his face like flint toward Jerusalem

  • Paul does the same thing knowing that certain imprisonment and affliction awaited him and he still set his face like flint toward that destination

  • At the end of Acts Ch 20 we have such insight into WHO Paul was

  • Paul writes these FIERY LETTERS sometimes

  • 1 Corinthians

  • Galatians

  • AND YET…

  • The people LOVED him because he LOVED THEM SO WELL

  • Acts 20:36 Paul is basically saying, “You are never going to see me again.”

  • Acts 20:36, “And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they all wept and embraced Paul and kissed him, sorrowing most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they should see his face no more.”

  • There is something SO POWERFUL about that

  • We can have this cold and antiseptic view of St. Paul

  • Sometimes he can rub people the wrong way

  • BUT…

  • He LOVED them and they KNEW that they were loved by him

  • They LOVED him back

  • This is why they are weeping at the idea that they would never be able to see him again in this life

  • This is a message for ALL OF US

  • The people that we are here to CARE FOR


  • Am I loving them in the way that they should be loved?

  • Would they WEEP if this was the last time that they saw me?

  • Fr. Mike has worked with a lot of different pastors and priests

  • Time for a little INSIDE BASEBALL now

  • At times, being the visiting priest or guest priest and the pastor is away and the staff relaxes because the pastor is away

  • Fr. Mike remembers wondering does it have to be that way?

  • When the pastor is present do they have to be on alert?

  • Does that HAVE to be the case?

  • Fr. Mike is so honored by his students and missionaries because there are so many times that he has to go away

  • Even if it is for just a day he’ll come back and they’ll be like, “Oh we missed you!!”

  • Fr. Mike is blessed in a way that he doesn’t deserve

  • The people are not saying, “Good, you’re gone.”

  • They say, “We’re so glad you’re back. We hated that you were gone for even a day.”

  • Fr. Mike feels like he’s participating A LITTLE BIT in what St. Paul experienced being loved by the people of Ephesus

  • He means it more in the lines of for those who SERVE

  • Whether you serve as a PARENT

  • Whether you serve as a BOSS

  • Whether you serve as a PASTOR

  • Should we have that kind of relationship with those people that we serve that they miss us when we are gone instead of being relieved when we are gone

  • Fr. Mike seems to think that there are a ton of people that are relieved when he is gone (I find this hard to believe. I bet the number can be counted on a single hand 😉)

  • Fr. Mike is striving to be like St. Paul, to know that he is loved

  • So that was a random tangent….ahem….SQUIRREL!!!!!!! 🐿

  • Ok St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is BEAUTIFUL!!

  • OH GOSH!!

  • St. Paul talks about the first dispensation, the Old Covenant, and the New Covenant

  • Remember we read about Moses about how when he went into the Tabernacle to visit with the Lord, his face was so transformed that they had to put a VEIL over his face (Do you remember when we read this? Go back and read Day 48: God’s Presence in The Bible in a Year Study Guide for a refresher 😁)

  • St. Paul says, “Ok that was the OLD COVENANT. Here is the NEW AND COMPLETE EVERLASTING COVENANT. Should not we be more and more transformed into God’s likeness?”

  • 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”


  • 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

  • Another translation says, “From glory to glory.”


  • AND YET…

  • “We hold these treasures in earthen vessels…”

  • There is this song about earthen vessels talking about we have the most incredible gift that has EVER BEEN GIVEN

  • The gift of ETERNAL LIFE

  • The gift of the GOSPEL

  • The gift of GOD’S GRACE

  • AND YET…

  • We hold this gift in CLAY POTS

  • We hold it in stuff

  • St. Paul is saying, “I have the most incredible message in the world, but I am not the most incredible messenger. I hold the most incredible treasure in the world, but I am holding it in a very ordinary container.”

  • We hold these treasures in EARTHEN VESSELS

  • It’s not about US the ones who are holding the treasure

  • It is about the TREASURE

  • It is about the APOSTOLATE

  • It is about THE WORK

  • SO GOOD!!

  • 2 Corinthians Ch 5 Paul says, “Yeah we know that the outer man is wasting away. We know that we are going to die. We know that we are in suffering. This slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all compare.”

  • The Weight of Glory is by C.S. Lewis

  • “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Because we look not to the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen.”

  • 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, “Therefore, we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord...We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.”

  • We know that we are JUDGED on what we DO

  • It’s one of the reasons why we affirm that we are saved BY Grace THROUGH Faith WORKING ITSELF OUT IN Love

  • We are saved by GRACE, free gift

  • Through FAITH, our response to God’s gift

  • Working itself out in LOVE knowing that we will be JUDGED on our ACTIONS

  • “Lord, make me more like you. I want to love like you. I want to live like you.”

  • That’s why we keep coming back to God’s Word

  • “Lord, help me to love like you. Help me to live like you.”


  • That you continue to love like Jesus and live like Jesus


  • That he can love like Jesus and live like Jesus


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you so much for this day. We thank you for a new day, a new Word that you share with us. We thank you so much for the Grace that you pour out on us. We ask you to, please Lord, to come and meet us with your blessings. Come and meet us with your mercy that is new every single day. We ask that you also, like you shone your glory upon Moses and transformed his face, give us your Holy Spirit, that as we are in your presence we look more and more like you. That we come to share more and more in your glory. That we come to share more and more in a heart like yours, in a mind like yours, in a will that is conformed to yours. As often as we hear your Word, Lord God, we ask that you please help us to become more like you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”