Exodus 17:1-7 and Psalm 78:1-4, 12-17
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 and Psalm 25:1-9
Peace be with you!
Most of us who lived the twentieth century know who Mother Teresa is and how she lived out her life. Most of us probably have a quote or two by Mother Teresa on our chosen social network(s) profile(s).
Mother Teresa dedicated her life “in her own words, ‘the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.’” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia n.d.). She even experienced what it was like to be poor and hungry when she followed God’s call for her to leave the convent in September 1946 and start her own missionary, which she started in 1948. Her life mission became to follow God’s call to help the “poorest among the poor” (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia n.d.).
Even when Mother Teresa struggled with her faith (like Jesus did on the cross when he said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”), she questioned where God was, but she never abandoned her mission. Mother Teresa tended to the needs of the poor, the homeless, the unprivileged, and the forgotten; she strived to give a voice to the outsiders of societies who others forgot.
Like Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ came into the world to serve those who were forgotten – the individuals on the outside of the religious community. Jesus came to give us the good news of forgiveness – the news that we, sinners, would be able to entered the gates of heaven.
But the forgiveness comes with a cost. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we must become one with him and be like him through our words and actions. We become one with Christ when we “mirror Christ’s humiliation, service and obedience (2:1-5, 12-13)” (Eastman 2011). To me, it seems impossible because we are sinful beings. How can we become one with Christ if we are in fact sinners?
Jesus attacks the bondage and the despair, which keeps us in the darkness, through his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Therefore, we are released from bondage and despair. Christ empties himself for our release from bondage, which separated us from God the Father before. Christ gives himself for the Father’s plan to save us from our suffering, sinful being, and despair. We are saved through Jesus.
Since we are saved through Jesus Christ, we become a united community of disciples who go out and spread the good news. By becoming one of his disciples, we become one with Christ (or like Christ) as individuals and as a community. How can we become one with Christ?
When we say and do what Jesus Christ said and did, we become like him. Our role as his disciples is to spread the good news and to be an example to others through our actions as an united community. How can be an example to others? By living as Jesus, we carry out his example. When we clothe those without clothes … when we give shelter to the homeless … when we feed the hungry … we act of Christ’s love. We are also living out God’s plan as Christ did.
As a united community, we carry out God the Father’s plan. We are united with God the Father and with each other. We cannot do anything without Jesus Christ. It is the unity that builds and strengthens the Christian community.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Christ to empty himself for our benefit. Help us to become one with Christ and to become a unity community. Thank you for uniting us in your community to carry out your plan. Amen.
Eastman, Susan. Philippians 2:1-13. June 5, 2011. http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?tab=1&alt=1 (accessed September 23 2011).
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mother Teresa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa (accessed September 23, 2011).
Please feel free to answer the reflective questions through comments. Please agree to disagree and be respectable to each other. Please take a moment, if you have not already, to sign the covenant. You can answer all or just one of the questions.
1. How do you empty yourself as Christ did?
2. How do you live as an example to others?