September 28, 2014 – Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

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Today’s passage from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians, which we began reading last week and will read for the next two weeks, puts an exclamation point on the liturgies of the last couple of Sundays. Rather than seek fairness – whether in forgiveness or work – we should conform ourselves to Christ, “Who, though he was in the form of God … emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” (Second Reading). In Christ, God shows us once more that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (First Reading, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A).

Even God’s power is beyond what we might expect, for God shows “almighty power … by pardoning and show-ing mercy” (Collect). The second Communion antiphon puts it more bluntly still: “By this we came to know the love of God: that Christ laid down his life for us.” How, then, are we to live this mystery, made present in the Eucharist, “whenever we proclaim his Death” (Prayer after Communion)” In writing to the Philippians, Saint Paul offers a simple answer: “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than your-selves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others” (Second Reading). In other words, we must not grasp for the glory the world offers but, like Christ, empty ourselves for the sake of all.