February 17, 2024 - 8:00am

Lenten Meditation: February 17, 2024

Lenten Meditation: February 17, 2024

Daily Scripture Passage: Philippians 4:10-20

I have learned to be content with whatever I have. — Philippians 4:11b

It sounds like clickbait: “I have learned the secret of being content!”

At the end of this letter to the Philippians, Paul expresses gratitude. He takes the time to thank them, a real thank you for a need that they have met and for an encounter with consistent generosity.

But it appears that this gratitude is but a gateway to an even greater encounter that has affected Paul, that has taught him to be content ‘in any and all circumstances.’

A need is met, I am satisfied, I am no longer in want. But how can you be content not just when you are well-fed but when you are hungry? Not just when you have plenty but when you are in need?

The key word is ‘learned’. We learn not just through encounters but through relationship. To be a disciple of Jesus is to follow his example—living a life in joyful surrender and dependence on the Father. This dependence comes through everyday moments, where we surrender ourselves to the present moment and the God who dwells there, laying down our ‘if only’s’ and ‘it would be better if’s,’ our ‘hungry’ and ‘in need.’ It is about knowing that, whatever the circumstances, “God alone is enough” (Teresa of Avila).

Paul met the Lord “who strengthens me” (4:13) and satisfies “every need” (4:19)—and learned, through the generosity of those, that ultimately, his need is for God. As St Augustine of Hippo wrote, “our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Dependence on God is the path to contentment.

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