Homily – September 27, 2020

From the moment Saul of Tarsus encountered Jesus Christ on his trip to Damascus to arrest the followers or Jesus whom he saw as unfaithful Jews, his life was turned upside down. In the days and months and years that followed Paul would come to understand more and more who Jesus was and why he came into the world. He tried every day to model his life on the life giving life and death of Jesus. He would say of himself, ‘I live now not I, but Christ lives in me and the life I life I life it trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.’

In today’s second reading Paul shares with us his understanding of what the life, death and resurrection of Jesus were all about and the impact it had on Paul’s life and hopefully on all our lives.

Jesus was equal to God but he willing gave this equality up, emptying himself of his divinity and taking to himself our humanity, and humanity in its lowest form, that of a slave. An obedient slave, obedient even unto death on a cross, a death of shame and humiliation, deprived of all human dignity and worth. Jesus emptied himself of his divinity and his humanity in order to make the human family one again with God.

And it didn’t stop there. At the Last Supper Jesus took a piece of bread and a cup of wine telling us, this is my body, this is my blood. With these words bread was more than bread, wine was more than wine, they were the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus emptied himself still more and made himself the food and drink that nourishes our bodies and souls.

Many times we can be caught up with a sense of self -importance; our position in the company for which we work, our position in any society to which we may belong, how we are thought of among our social friends, how we are seen in our neighbourhood and many other life situations. We want to look good, impress people.

There can be times when we let this desire to motivate how we relate to friends and neighbours and strangers.

Jesus did not think his equality with God as something to be clung to, so he let go. He emptied himself of his divinity.

In our age of image makers there can be times in our personal lives when we may challenge to empty ourselves of mindsets and lifestyles that convince us that we are better than others, mindsets that encourage us to think ourselves better than people of color; it’s called racism. We could empty ourselves of attitudes that can encourage us to look down on men and women of different color, different faiths, different lifestyles or different social standing, seeing men and women as of less worth, less importance than ourselves; it’s called bigotry.

There is a key on every computer and laptop titled, delete. Whenever we imagine ourselves as more important than others, of more value than other people then it is time to press that key delete and empty ourselves of pompous attitudes, attitudes far removed from the mind of Christ who emptied himself that we might be filled with the love and forgiveness of God.