By Fr. Paul Gros
Dear Family in Christ, Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Our second reading this weekend IS INCREDIBLY RICH, especially for prayer! St. Paul is asking us to have the same humble attitude of Jesus when it comes to our dealings with one another – “complete my joy by being of the same mind [with Christ], with the same love [with Christ], united in heart [with Christ], thinking one thing [with Christ]. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves…” (Phil 2:2-3).
He then goes on to recite an ancient hymn of the time that included the words “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God…Rather, he emptied himself…he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8). Jesus has treated us with such humility that while he was in the glory of heaven as the second person of the Holy Trinity, He emptied Himself of all glory by becoming a man to the point of obediently accepting (out of love) the total humiliation of the cross. And, yes, that is what crucifixion was supposed to be for criminals who were condemned to die in such a way – utterly humiliating. Not only was it a slow, painful, and agonizing death that would sometimes take days for the person to die (the person would slowly asphyxiate as their muscles got too fatigued for them to pick themselves up for each breath), but it was completely humiliating as they hung there nude in the open air in front of every passerby. It was in this way Jesus “emptied Himself” out of complete humility. I invite you to pray with this passage from St. Paul while also looking at the crucifix. This can be a wonderful way to truly grasp the depth of what Jesus was willing to do for us, simply out of His deep abiding love for us.
Finally, as many of you are aware and as I mentioned in my bulletin article two weekends ago, last year our U.S. Bishops implemented a three-year Eucharistic revival to help foster a greater devotion to the “source and summit” of our Christian faith. Along with a push for Eucharistic adoration, St. Margaret will be offering several opportunities to grow in your love for our Eucharistic Lord including several Eucharistic book studies through the One Book, One Church ministry (more information to come), an Advent mission on the Eucharist and, finally, I will be leading a six-part book study during Lent from a book entitled “The 7 Secrets of the Eucharist” by Vinney Flynn. Megan Ourso, who is St. Margaret diocesan point person for the Eucharistic revival in our diocese, and I will also be offering Pew Buddy articles on different Eucharistic miracles that have been documented and approved by the Church through the centuries. Our first article will be next weekend, so look for it!
Have a wonderful week!