Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 1, 2017)

St. Paul reminds us today that there is one way of acting that will keep us united in the Christian community: “Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus.” Then he proceeds to sing the great hymn of Jesus’ loving humility.

The Son of God emptied himself of his divine glory in order to become like us in our humanity. Jesus humbled himself even more, becoming obedient even to death on a cross. Because of this, God exalted himself and made him Lord, so that we might kneel before Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Paul makes it very clear that kneeling before Jesus as Lord and Savior is not enough. We must take on the attitude of Jesus in our daily lives. We must make the daily effort to be a community of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.

Paul urges us to do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory, thinking that we’re better than anyone else. We’re all sinners redeemed by Jesus. In our efforts to be like Jesus, we must learn to humbly regard others as more important than ourselves. We must learn not just to consider our own interests, but consider the interest of others as we go about our day.

Learning to live this way will take a great deal of effort. This is not the way the world around us lives. How will we do it? Each day we will have to learn to be conscious of the loving humility of Jesus. We might use Paul’s hymn for our daily morning meditation.

Today’s Gospel encourages us not to get distracted by the times we fail in our efforts. Our failings humble us before God. But our God is generous in forgiving, desiring to strengthen us with his grace. St. Francis de Sales urges us to get up and begin again as often as we must.

Let us encourage one another every day to have the attitude of Jesus, so that we can be of one mind and one heart, loving humbly as Jesus has loved us.