Scripture: Lectionary 492. Wisdom 2:23-3:9. Psalm 34:2-3,16-17, 18-19.
Jesus has some strong words again in today’s reading. One consoling
thought is that he never asks us to do anything that he would not do. He
makes demands, but also gives us the example of how to cope with our
struggles; and, yet, he never lets up in his strong words to us. Paul
understood this when the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
We have seen how Jesus exemplifies what Wisdom is and models God’s wisdom
for us through his life and his words. He is telling us that we are
servants of God our Creator (douloi means slaves as well as servants). We
are to be humble and generous in our role as servants of God and God’s
creation. Jesus is our model as we see in the first hymn recorded by Paul
that tells us who Jesus is:
Yours is to be the same mind which Christ Jesus shewed. His nature
is, from the first, Divine, and yet he did not see, in the rank of Godhead,
a prize to be coveted; he dispossessed himself, and took the nature of a
slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting himself to us in
human form; and then he lowered his own dignity, accepting an obedience
which brought him to death, death on a cross. That is why God raised him
to such a height, given him that name which is greater than any other name;
so that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the
knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ
as the Lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11, Monsignor Knox translation
Jesus teaches us that we as servants have the dignity of being made in the
image and likeness of God. This is affirmed by Genesis 1:27 and also by
Jesus’ citing it when he speaks of marriage as seen by him and his Father.
Our reading from Wisdom confirms this revealed truth based on the first
book of the Bible. Jesus then applies it to all of us and also to those who
are married and should not be separated from each other.
In the context of the Carmen Christi given to us by Paul we learn that the
early Church saw Jesus as a meek and humble servant-slave of the Lord God
Creator. Jesus then tells us, “ When you have done all you have been
commanded to do say, ‘We are useless servants. We have done no more than
our duty.” (Luke 17:10).
We respond to this call of God and Jesus with our Psalm: “I will bless the
Lord at all times.” Amen.