“Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,.” (Philippians 2:6-7)
In the movie, “Coming to America” the main actor, Eddie Murphy who simultaneously played several roles starred as a young prince who disguised himself as a pauper so as to find a woman who loves him as a person, not because he was rich. Eddie Murphy’s character knew who he was, but in other to get what he wanted; he chose to become something else for a while. He was being deceptive.
Unlike the character in the movie who disguised for his own selfish interest (to get a wife), St. Paul in today’s first reading tells us that Jesus for our sake, choose to become like one of us and even died for our salvation. Jesus did not consider the fact that He is God, he took our flesh and went through humiliation, suffering and bitter death for our sake. St. Paul says that we are to behave like Jesus Christ to our fellow brothers and sisters.
To have the mind of Christ is not a matter of pretence (faking to be who you are not), rather it is self-emptying for the good of others. It is living in complete humility; putting ourselves in the shoes of others, leaving our comfort zone to help them. It is asking, what Christ would have done if He was here now and doing exactly that. It is living in a manner that enkindles the faith of others that God still exists in our world.
I recently heard the story of some soldiers who broke into a tea shop because it was a cold winter morning and needed something warm to drink. When they were leaving the captain left some money for the owner of the shop to satisfy his conscience. Later when they passed by that same shop, they met the owner who told a story of how his son was at the point of dying and he needed money to help the poor boy and after praying to God for help, he came to his shop and found the money not knowing who kept it there. From that day, he would not stop preaching that God truly exists.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus gave a parable to those who were at the table with him. Some persons had been invited for a feast but failed to show up so the host decided to extend the invitation to everyone and anyone the servants could find. This parable applies to us Christians today. We pride ourselves as Children of God but we fail to attend the marriage feast – How? We do not practice what we proclaim.
The great challenge of the Christian faith today is that those who fill up our churches live as though God does not exist. We seek God’s blessings but we shun His counsel, we refuse to operate according to the mind of Christ. We are practical unbelievers; we don’t even believe it is possible to live holy and sinless lives, yet we claim to believe God for miracles of abundance and prosperity coming our way.
God, like the Host in this parable would have no choice but to reach out to those we consider unworthy. Surely, there would be a lot of surprises awaiting us in heaven.
Let us pray: Lord, remove my heart of stone, cure me of my selfishness and pride, teach me to have a mind like yours. Amen
Bible Study: Philippians 2:5-11, Psalm 22:26-32 and Luke 14:15-24).