Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).
Most of us are very familiar with this reading from Philippians. It is read at most of the Marian Feasts. These words from Saint Paul express the mind we seek to acquire, the fact that it is ours in Christ, and that Christ is obedient even unto death on a cross. As I said last week, love, trust, and obedience come together in the life creating death of our Savior on the Cross. This perfect, mature obedience is founded on our Lord’s trust in His Heavenly Father and, therefore, He obeys out of love for Him and for us in seeking our salvation.
The goal of obedience in life, especially family life, is this “mind” we are to acquire, which is ours in Christ. This icon of obedience brings joy into the world and brings people to their right mind. And when we are able to acquire this mind, we realize obedience is joyful — and even easy. One wants toobey and no longer has toobey.
So God accomplishes this work in us when we acquire the mind of Christ. We can’t do this on our own. That is what we do during Lent. We can’t dumb down our fast to the point where there is no longer any sacrifice in it. Fasting is supposed to be difficult. It is supposed to help us give up wants and hungers that dominate our lives that have nothing to do with our salvation and well-being. We pray to tell our Lord “apart from Him we can do nothing.” We pray to seek communion with Him and that He would illumine the path on which we are to walk. We give alms to put others ahead of our own needs. We learn what it means to be a good steward with the things of this world by living this way.
May we, in the remaining time of this fast, move a few steps closer to acquiring this mind of our Lord.
Forgive me a sinner,