Because of Paul's "surpassing knowledge" of Jesus, he came to rate all as loss. Paul's personal relationship with Jesus changed the "ratings" in his life. Things he used to rate high were reassessed as worthless and empty.
All of us have a "surpassing knowledge." Usually, our knowledge of and attraction to pleasure surpasses all else. For many people, even Christians, food, entertainment, TV programs, money, or lifestyle rate the highest. These surpass everything else.
Eventually, we experience a "surpassing knowledge" of tragedy and/or death. This changes our ratings. In the face of death, we now rate as loss those things for which we formerly lived. We feel so empty and regret that we've wasted our lives. We feel condemned by the vain, stupid, empty priorities of our past life.
However, the surpassing knowledge of tragedy and/or death, which surpassed our preoccupation with pleasure, can itself be surpassed by the personal knowledge of Jesus. When we totally give our lives to Jesus, we no longer stand condemned by the empty priorities of our past (see Rm 8:1). These vanities and regrets all disappear (see Jn 8:10). We give "no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead" (Phil 3:13). Life in Christ is not merely meaningless stimulation but real excitement. Because of our knowledge of Jesus, life is a race, not a drag (see Phil 3:12). Live in the light of the surpassing knowledge of Jesus.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012.