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On This Sunday’s Second Reading From St. Paul: To Imitate In The Life of Jesus; Our God and Savior

September 21, 2011

“Reading 2 Phil 2:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
In St. Paul’s letter; what is he calling us to do?  To Imitate Our Lord and God Jesus Christ and be transformed into Him.  He asks us, is there “any encouragament in Christ Jesus? any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,any compassion and mercy,complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,each looking out not for his own interests,but also for those of others.”
What is he saying?  He is saying to us our passions and emotions must be the same of Jesus and our joys, our very own mind, the love and thoughts must not be on anything else; except on Jesus Christ.  We all have egos and pride; but to be trully human; is to give up that pride and ego for something better and that something is living a life of a True Christian; a Christian who embraces the cross; gives up all, does not complain but accepts the sufferings and uses the things that are displeasing or something they do not like as penances for themself but also for others.
That does not mean we let ourself be walked over and on like a rug; but in certain times we must do as Jesus said to do and carry the pack another mile or so. 
Jesus even cleansed out the temple of the money changers and people who were selling cows, birds and other animals to burned for sacrifices at the fire pit in the temple.  Yes, sometimes we must do the modern time of cleansing the temple and throw out those who don’t listen to God or follow what God commands.
Let us get back on topic here.  St. Paul is teaching us; he is like the first Thomas A Kempis writing the first Imitation of Christ and helping to teach it; in that book Fr. A Kempis helps us to learn the way of Christ and to imitate His life to the full.  Here, St. Paul is talking about the very same thing and asking, “do you have the same attitude of Christ?”  Not to think about His being equal to God but rather being humbled to take on human flesh for us and to redeem us.
Do we have that humility to follow in Christ’s own footsteps to humble ourself enough to carry the cross and then to lay down our life freely for our faith, our friends and loved ones and for the one we truly love most of all; Jesus Christ?
I do believe we have become too worldly and focused too much on the world and things of the world; every moment something of this world is dying away and that is why St. Paul tells us to keep our gaze and focus on things up above; things of Heaven.  It shows in how we dress for Mass, we dress as if it is routine, another regular event; tan pants, shorts, flip flops, tight jeans, tank tops, beach dresses, summer attire, purses, cell phones, I-pods, activity bags for the kids,  snacks and drinks for the kids.  We have lost the focus of the Sacred, we have lost the sacred humility of Christ and we lossed the sense of sin; I bet many have not gone to Confession within the year or two.
Then they still receive Jesus’ body and blood in Holy Communion as a snack and not as something Sacred.  Last Sunday at Holy Mass, I had the great blessing of protecting Our Lord’s body from a shoe and picked Him up and carried Him in my hand with me to the pew; adored Him as St. Augustine said to do and then ate His Sacred Body.  I cried because someone did that to Him and I asked for forgiveness.
In this Sacred Text; this letter by St. Paul; he is asking us to imitate Our Lord in everything and to forget ourself and to allow God to increase in us and we decrease.  He talks about how Jesus did this and the Father was well pleased and gave His Son a name above every name on Earth, above the Earth and below the Earth and with this name that all creatures will proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and God. 
This is what St. Paul is writing to us and teaching us in this letter.  First, we must have to rediscover the Sacredness in the Liturgy and make sure we treat it with Sacredness and great reverence.  We must dress modestly and properly to enter the church for Mass or just to pray; most of the designer clothes now are not proper for Mass goers.  Then once we do this, then we must treat Our Lord’s body and blood with reverence and Sacredness.  It is not a snack that we receive; but it is food for our soul to keep it living spiritually.  But, we must re-find the sense of sin and start going to the Sacrament of Confession as soon as we have committed any mortal sin to remove it from our soul.
A person who is going to imitate Christ must be pure and clean from all sin.  They must have a great love for His body and blood and treat it with respect, reverence and Sacredness.  They must protect it at any cost.
Then they must change how they act and live; if they act and live all pumped up as they think they know everything and that they are the boss; they must do the opposite and live a humble life and help others. 
This we must do if we want to imitate Christ and be like Him.
God bless. 

2 Comments leave one →
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