Posted by: fvbcdm | June 27, 2012

Feast of Saint Cyril of Alexandria (27 June 2012)

First of all, I want to apologize to you today for the absence of this daily message for the past few days.  A number of things have come up in our community that made it difficult for me to get the message out as usual, so please excuse this daily message which is not daily!  I hope I won’t be charged with misrepresentation of merchandise!  

 

Within the last few days, our Holy Father has spoken about the epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians, and has pointed out that “. . . though he was in the form of God, (Jesus) did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.  Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave . . . he humbled himself,  becoming obedient to death, even DEATH ON A CROSS!”  In the ancient languages, because of the presence of slavery and slaves in those societies, the same word was commonly used to mean “servant” and “slave.”  Whether the person was employed for pay, or purchased and owned like a piece of property, was of little concern to them.  Then Pope Benedict goes on to say that Saint Paul probably had several gestures of Christ in mind when he wrote those words.  One of them was his surprising act of kneeling down on the floor before the Last Supper and washing his apostles’ feet—an action ordinarily performed by a servant, not a master or leader.  And then of course, the other act of humility—this time SUPREME humility—was that Our Lord allowed his enemies to bring about his death, especially the terribly painful and prolonged death of crucifixion.

 

Just above this computer on which I compose these daily messages there is a statuette which I like very much.  It was given to me by a friend in New Orleans years ago, and depicts Our Lord kneeling before the seated Saint Peter and washing his feet.  It is a very striking representation of the reversal of roles; ordinarily, servant serves master.  Here, master serves servant.  And the words of Jesus come to me as I look at this little statue: “Whatever you do unto others, you do unto me.”

 

Can we honestly say to Our Lord: “Lord I have wished to serve you and have sought ways of doing so?”  The most authentic way of serving God is in serving others; let us always remember that.  We need never say, “I couldn’t find any way of serving Our Lord; He doesn’t have any needs.”  Let us approach everyone with the words in our minds that the salesperson uses in the department store in approaching the customer:  may I help you?  or what can I do for you?  The apostles’ dirty feet and the way he treated them are one of Christ’s most precious legacies to us.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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