JEROME OF STRIDON: NO SMALL EFFORT
“The death [Jesus] died, he died to sin once for all (see Colossians 2:15). Thus, if our bodies are the members of Christ, then our flesh is the flesh of Christ. And while we are on earth we crucify it and through it we put to death impurity, lust, evil desire, and avarice… But it takes no small effort to live in the present age in such a way that the life of Jesus is revealed in our flesh right now, for our mortal bodies will accordingly be made alive through the Spirit who dwells within us.”
Jerome makes the profound point that we don’t just “put off” or “put away” sins like avarice, which is the opposite of generosity; we “put to death” avarice! As you reflect on the cross today, “put to death” impurity, lust, evil desire, avarice, and other sins which beset you. Be crucified with Christ, as described by the Apostle Paul.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:19b-20
Living by faith in the Son of God is not easy! Jerome, the wise doctor, adds, “it takes no small effort to live in the present age in such a way that the life of Jesus is revealed in our flesh right now.” Thankfully, the Spirit, which dwells within us, makes us alive and empowers our obedience.
Father, strengthen me to live by faith which will take “no small effort.” Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins, rising again, and making me clean. Holy Spirit, help me put avarice to death by living generously.
Gary G. Hoag
To read more from Lent Companion by Gary G. Hoag, please visit https://www.gtp.org/resources/ebooks/lent-companion