The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
So which of the sons did his Father’s will? Actually, the supreme example of the Son who did his Father’s will is Christ, whom St. Paul praises in the letter to the Philippians. Judging from the hymn which St Paul quotes, the attitude, or mind, of Christ was revealed in his self-forgetting devotion to doing the Father’s will. And throughout his earthly life, we have before us not only the attitude or mind of the Son but also the mind of the Father who sent him.
In other words, what the Father saw in Christ is what we also ought to see: not only the humility, the obedience, and the patient endurance, but, in the heart of all these, the mind of Christ. That gives us the reason for his self-emptying: because his heart went out to the human race. Any regard for himself disappeared as he looked on our fallen race.
His heart was set on delivering us, even though it would mean all kinds of humiliation, obedience, and suffering. This gave meaning and character to every step of his life. This was the attitude of the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. And this is what completes and consecrates all of Christ’s work, and why the Father greatly exalted him. This is the Lamb of God. There never was a Lamb like this.
We have no way of knowing how all this was and is in the Eternal Son in his divine nature. But we can think and speak of it as the mind of Christ, as it came to light in the Man of Bethlehem. With all the possibilities of the incarnation, he set his face steadily toward fulfilling the Father’s will for him. Because of this, God greatly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. This is the right way. This is the right life.
Can we claim to be followers of Christ? Then let us have in us the same attitude that was also in Christ Jesus, this humble, loving attitude. Let each of us look out not for our own interests, but also for those of others. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory. Humbly regard others as more important than yourselves. If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, do all these things. Have in you the same attitude that is in Christ Jesus, and find ways of showing it. But if in fact, his attitude is really in you, it will find ways to show itself.
As we come to Christ in this Eucharist, with all our sorrows, and sins, and needs, let his drink in his mind. Let us sit at his feet and learn from him, for he is meek and humble of heart.