Brothers and sisters:
Have among yourselves the same attitude
that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and, found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:5-11)
St. Paul’s letter to the Christians at Philippi was written while he was in prison and, most probably, under the threat of death. Paul was smart enough to know that, even at that late stage, he could easily get out of prison if he did one “simple” thing: recanted his belief in Jesus Christ. After all, the death penalty was for maintaining a faith in the Risen Lord.
Paul knew, however, that Jesus was more powerful than death itself. Even if his life would be required of him, Paul believed that Jesus would raise him from the dead just as He raised Himself from the dead on Easter morn.
Paul also knew that Jesus, while on earth, did not lord His authority over others. Instead, as this beautiful canticle recounts, Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness.”
As Jesus lived and died, so also would Paul. In the process, Paul would remind all of his followers to do the same. Absolute trust in Jesus was Paul’s hallmark. It is still our challenge today.
FAITH ACTION: Ask the Lord to give you all the graces that you need to have absolute trust in Him.