Oh that we could have the same mind as Jesus! Even though it seems impossible, as Christians we are called to model ourselves after the One who was willing to die on the cross. Because we are mere humans, doing so demands a great deal of us, not the least of which are the traits of obedience and humility.
Although most of us won’t be forced to die for our beliefs, we are called to live as if we are prepared to sacrifice everything for God. That kind of supplication requires that we let go of selfish intent to focus on humbling ourselves before God, just as Jesus did on our behalf. It requires that we value modesty over pretension, meekness over recognition. It requires that we trade self-will for God’s plan. Jesus’ gift of sacrifice is one we can participate in if we are willing. May we strive daily to have the mind, and the heart, of Christ.
Writing from prison in Rome to the Christians of Philippi, Paul points out that Jesus did not misuse or take advantage of his divinity. Jesus did “not regard equality with God as something to be exploited.” Instead, he manifested it as ultimate obedience to God. In response to that emptying out, that complete and total offering, God exalted Jesus by naming him above all others.
From that day on, when the name Jesus is heard, followers are to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. In so doing with humility and obedience, we give the glory to God, where it belongs.
May it be so.
Lord, help me see humility as an honor, not a sacrifice, as I strive to have a mind and heart like that of Jesus. Allow me to understand that obedience does not limit, but instead deepens, my relationship with you. Amen.
The Liturgy of the Palms readings prepare us for Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem in triumph. The psalmist celebrates the one who comes in the name of the Lord, who is celebrated with palm branches. Matthew then tells the story of Jesus, who enters Jerusalem in this way and is greeted with joy, such that the crowds quote Psalm 118. The Liturgy of the Passion points to the end of that week and the coming suffering of Jesus. Isaiah and the psalmist describe being treated with contempt, beaten, and rejected. In reciting the earliest known Christian hymn, Paul in Philippians emphasizes how Christ surrenders his glory and is subjected to humiliation and death. Matthew recounts the passion of the Messiah, who is rejected as the prophets have foretold.
Read Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29. How has God been steadfast in your life? How do you praise God for this continual presence?
Read Matthew 21:1-11. How would you expect a ruler to enter a city? How is Jesus’ entrance the same? How is it different?
Read Isaiah 50:4-9a. What does being a servant of God look like? How does God help you live as a servant?
Read Philippians 2:5-11. Consider the author’s suggestion that Jesus manifests his divinity by being completely obedient to God. How does this change the way you think about the divine image within you?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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