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.
Talk about Ignatian indifference! Jesus did not see his equality with God as something to be exploited. He surrendered it freely so that we, too, could share intimacy with the divine. Jesus modeled what power truly is: service to those in need. How counter to the models of leadership we’ve seen in our nation, in our world and in our own Church, where power has too often been used to dictate and abuse rather than to minister and lead. We may not have the same form of institutional power that a politician or a clergy member has. But we all have spheres of influence, from our families to our workplaces. Today’s second reading reminds us that true power invites us into the experience of others. Jesus took on our humanity. He ate with sinners, ministered with women, befriended the poor and the outcast. He emptied himself… How will you use your power today?
—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.
God of surrender, help me to let go of any unhealthy attachment to power. Help me to listen to the needs of those around me, so that I may better love and serve those you have entrusted to my care.
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