ALREADY AND NOT YET
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are whole-minded, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing (ἐπιφάνειαν) of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself an extraordinary people (λαὸν περιούσιον), zealous for good deeds.” (Tit 2: 11-14)
So the saving grace of God “has appeared” (ἐπεφάνη) already, in the coming of “our great God and Savior” in the flesh. And yet we still “wait for the appearing” of His glory in full, in the final fulfilment, when time shall end. This “waiting for” more to come; this forward-looking to the resurrection of all, along with the grace of God that already “has appeared,” is the basis of our “zeal,” of our being “zealous for good deeds.”
Today let me keep in my heart this little motivational talk that St. Paul gives to Titus, and through Titus to me. Let me pay attention, in heartfelt gratitude, to the grace of God that already “has appeared” most abundantly in my life, in so many situations, relationships, events, in ups and in downs, both yesterday and now, this very morning. And let me look toward the future, our common future, as “an extraordinary people” in Christ, Who “gave Himself for us” that we may have eternal Meaning, eternal hope, and eternal growth. Whatever has happened, whatever is happening now, and whatever is yet to happen today, in Him it all moves me forward, gently and meaningfully. Both now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen!