Let me focus on one word in this particular reading and then go on from there. That word is "blood." I think that only too often we jump to understand that word as pointing to the death we gave Christ on the cross, and I suspect that we should look instead to this blood as being the sign of Christ's profound taking of our flesh, that nature of ours that is so firmly rooted in being a creature, a part of created reality. If we believe that created reality exists only to support the human adventure in its first stages, then Christ in His Incarnation is the full accomplishment of what this creation is all about. This would be similar to the "Word became flesh," not just a human being, in John's first chapter.
And when Paul says here that God chose us "in Him before the world began" he indicates the breadth and depth of God's plan, the amazing vision that God had of our relationship to Him in, with, and through Christ from the very beginning. And that points to our very end as well, when we become that New Creation in, with, and through Christ as members of His Mystical Body. This is "the plan He was pleased to decree in Christ, to be carried out in the fullness of time: namely to bring all things in the heavens and on earth into one under Christ's headship."
How does such a vision bring a cry of such gratitude and joy to Paul --- and hopefully to us? Because God has always been drawing us to Himself, patiently and faithfully, in our very creaturehood, a status that is filled with hope and joy now that we see the Father's own Son right at our side, helping us and leading us towards our Father's house. That will affect every one of us in slightly different ways, but it should always give us hope, joy, energy, gratitude, love, and the determination to be good stewards of the gifts that God decided were best for each of us.
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