In today’s Mass we hear Saint Paul speak about Jesus “emptying” Himself for our sake (Philippians 2:1-11). Paul instructs us to adopt Jesus’ heart and mind by taking on an attitude of selflessness and humility.
And for many of us this is an ongoing challenge and a daily struggle. Our human nature often times causes us to fall into prideful and selfish ways. Sometimes we are not even aware how our attitudes, behaviors, and actions which emanate from misplaced pride and self-interest causes a breach in our relationship with each other and with our God.
But we are not alone in our struggle. Jesus is always there for us. Jesus’ own self-emptying provides the role model behavior for us to strive for. As we come to know Jesus more and more and become familiar with His way, we will become more inclined to follow His way. As we come to love Jesus more and more we will come to love His way.
And of course Jesus provides more than role-model behavior. Jesus, through His great act of redemption and His great love for us, provides the grace that strengthens and empowers us to shed our misplaced pride and self-centeredness, to look beyond ourselves, to attend to the needs of others, to be open-minded, to give others the benefit of the doubt, to be tolerant and forgiving, to be open to reconciliation, to live in peace.
So we “go to” Jesus every day, in our communion with Him, and in our communion with each other – a communion of the “one body” with Christ at the center – a communion that has at its heart humility and selflessness. We keep Jesus present to us – at the forefront of our hearts and minds – every day, throughout each day. We dispose ourselves to Jesus at all times so that little by little our hearts and minds might be transformed to His way. We honor Jesus as the role model we look to and as the font of grace that we drink from. And we do this as one community united to Him and in Him.
So we continue onward on this great journey placed before us. We go forward confident that with Jesus at our side we can all grow together into that loving human community, that Kingdom of harmony and peace that God so graciously allows us to help Him bring forth.
Today (and every day) we can join with Saint Ignatius – “O dearly beloved Jesus, teach us to be generous, to serve you as you deserve, to give without counting the cost, to fight without complaining about our wounds, to labor without seeking rest, to spend ourselves without looking for any reward other than that of knowing that we do your holy will. Amen.”