I just thought this was great:
I. Kenotic Hymn
I think that the second reading from today’s mass is one of the most beautiful passages in all of Sacred Scripture: “Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. He was known to be of human estate and it was thus that he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross! Because of this, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other name, so that at Jesus’ name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord.” An amazing passage! It tells us something about God, something about Jesus Christ and something about ourselves.
II. About God
About God, I was writing this week and came up with the following theological axiom. I really like ti:: “A god who only watches and never weeps is not Divine.” God cannot be coherently construed as some sort of detached spectator. Instead, the quintessentially Divine act is the act of God emptying himself. First, God empties himself, his very being, into Creation and then God empties himself in his Son. Either way, it is evident that God is known to us by his overflow, by his outpouring of the Divine self into Creation, nature, the world, through the speaking of his Word, Jesus Christ. God is not a cold and impersonal first cause. God is not a metaphysical supercomputer. God is not detached, disinterested or above fray. God weeps and rages and sighs for and with his people. A priest friend of mine this week said that he thought that God must cry constantly: “A god who only watches but never weeps is not Divine.”
III. About Jesus Christ
Second, about Jesus Christ, “though he was in the form of god, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped rather emptied himself of his divinity and took the form of a slave.” The most Divine of all acts, shown to us in Jesus Christ, is the act of love, love that is a pouring out of oneself. Jesus Christ shows us the way to the Father, the way to our salvation. To be one with God is to love as God loves, by emptying ourselves of all petty passions, so that there is only room in us for Divine passions, for weeping and loving and sighing as God weeps and loves and sighs. A god who only watches and never weeps cannot be Divine.
IV. About us
About us, Some people have this very strange idea that holiness means being really detached from the world – all quiet and calm, peaceful and untroubled by anything., sort of like a mildly catatonic monk on quayludes. Such calm detachment might make you a good stoic philosopher but it would make you a terrible Christian. Detachment is not the goal of the Christian life, to be cool and aloof and undisturbed. It is not the goal of the Christian because that is not the way God is with us and salvation means learning to be like God. Which means learning to laugh, to play, to love, to be tender and passionately involved with creation. To be holy is to be like God and a God who only watches and does not weep is not Divine. Love, laugh, play, get hurt even. But follow the example of our Lord. He did not remain above the fray but emptied himself and became one of us. He suffered, cried and raged. He was tender and laughed and joked. Be as fully human as possible. Because that is precisely what Christ did.