The Ephesians were encouraged by Saint Paul, especially when he advised them about daily living. In his letter to them, he wrote: “Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people.
This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord.”
According to Paul, the secret to successful, “intelligent” Christian living as distinct from being “senseless” or thoughtless was to recognise God’s will and, having done so, to practice it in their relationships and daily activities. In this way, the Ephesians would be able to counteract the wickedness around them because they would be guided by God’s grace as they witnessed to the Risen Lord Jesus.
Paul’s advice to the Ephesians was similar to that offered by Jesus when, as recounted in chapter 7 of Matthew’s Gospel, he spoke about true discipleship. There Jesus said: “Everyone who listens to my words and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house and it did not fall; it was founded on rock.”
Clearly, then, Jesus’ words teach us the central importance of laying solid foundations in our spiritual lives. We need to pray, read and educate ourselves in the faith, and live according to the teaching of Christ and his Church, if we are to secure the firm foundation of which Christ and, later, Saint Paul spoke. If we do this, we will be able to cope with all of life’s difficulties. Through good times and bad, happy times and sad, we will be resigned to God’s will. And it is this level of resignation that is the hallmark of the saints.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.