This Sunday's second lesson is Philippians 2:1-13. In it, Paul inserts verses taken from what can be described as a Christological hymn from the early decades of the church's liturgical tradition. In it, we hear an exhortation to live into singleness of purpose. This involves the spiritual discipline of surrender.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God,did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,being born in human likeness.And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross.
Our heart should burst right out of our body at the realization of the status and dignity to which infinite Goodness has appointed us--first by creating us in his own image, and then by joining his divine nature with our humanity to ransom us and create us anew! More than this he could not give: to give himself to those who by sin had become his enemies.
. . . So let your heart hold back no longer. Let the city of your soul surrender. If it does not surrender to anything else, it will have to surrender to fire--for Christ has set fire everywhere, and there is nowhere you can turn, physically or spiritually, without encountering the fire of love.
Saint Catherine of Siena (+1380), Doctor of the Church, was a Dominican, stigmatist, and papal counselor.
Surrendering is not the same as giving up. It is more like giving ourselves over and into the will of God for the whole of our lives. For most, this is a discipline that calls for daily participation.
When we remember our baptism, we re-call that we have been made a new creation in and through Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. Yet, because of our hard-headedness, we continue to want to run the show. How is that working out?
How have you experienced the peace of God that surpasses all understanding? In what ways could each one of us individually and all of us collectively move deeper in our participation in the discipline of surrender, to scripture reading, to prayer? How can we help one another to invigorate our discipleship? In what ways is God calling us here and now to encounter the fire of love?