We have heard this from the beatitudes many times, but today as we move into the third chapter of St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians he helps us to understand what it means. In verse 8 we hear
I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Once again we are called to remember the first and greatest commandment,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
St. Paul today is focusing that commandment in a less abstract way. He is reminding us that Christ Jesus is God incarnate, and we cannot love what we do not know.
First we must to some degree know someone in order to love them. Then once we begin to love them, we want to know more about them. When we are truly in love we want to know everything.
How do we know God?
We know God through faith which is itself a gift, God reaching out to us.
We know God through his word, especially the gospels in which Jesus speaks in our midst through his words and deeds. We can forget sometimes that the actions speak louder than words.
And we know him in the Eucharist in which he gives himself to us as food.
Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (Jn 6:53)
As we run through the busyness of the day, let St. Paul provide us with some perspective. In everything we say and do, no matter how important or urgent we think it is, it all comes in a distance second to knowing and loving Christ. The only real goal in life.