Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s first reading, St. Paul provides a profound account of who Christ is and of how to live the Christian faith. Jesus Christ is Lord, and he sets aside his glory to assume the human condition. To live the Christian faith is to have the same attitude that Christ had; it is to imitate him in his humility, selflessness and detachment.
A decisive moment in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola came when he realized that he was imitating the wrong person. He realized that imitating the life of a noble knight could not satisfy him. Power, wealth and prestige did not respond to the deepest desires of his spirit. Discovering his deepest desires meant letting go of his very self and following Jesus in a radical way.
Imitating Christ requires us to assume the mindset of Jesus and to follow his example. How are you being invited to imitate Christ today?
Lord God, holy Father, may you be blessed both now and forever,
for as you will things to be, so they are, and what you do is always good.
Let your servant find joy in you and not in himself or in anyone else,
for you alone are true joy.
You are my hope and my reward.
You are my joy and my honor, O Lord.
What does your servant have except what he has received from you—and without deserving it on his part? What you have given and what you have made are all yours.
—Thomas À Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Book III, Ch. 50)
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