Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 3rd Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
“Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.” (2nd Peter 1:4 to 7)
The people of the world are full of lust for personal desires. Such lust ranges from the desire for power, money, fame, and many other such self-serving intentions. From Genesis we learn, “Then God, seeing that the wickedness of men was great upon the earth and that every thought of their heart was intent upon evil at all times.” (Genesis 6:5) We must be careful not to fall into the traps of this world. I think the lesson from Peter’s second letter should be well studied.
We must first have faith and then support our faith with good works believing in our good Lord. We must study the holy writings in order to acquire the knowledge needed for self-control. Passions will come but we must keep control over them. The only way to do this is through religious practices like regular prayer and worship. We must do this daily, and as Peter says, with endurance. There are no excuses. What I tell people all the time is that we first have to have what we want to do, or be, in our minds. If we don’t first determine in our minds and hearts where we are going, we will never get there. And we must be consistent, we must control the self and stick with it, no matter what.
It is no surprise then that Peter ends his progression with love. Peter has experienced the love of our Lord Jesus who forgave him and loved him even through Peter’s denial of his Savior. This is the kind of love that will get us to where we want to be. If who we want to be is not based on love that is made manifest by mutual affection, then who we want to be may be set upon evil as in God’s criticism of humanity from the Genesis passage above. Saint Peter is definitely one of the saints we should read and heed.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John