Although November 6, 2012 might be significant for its presidential election, it could be memorable as the day when we took Paul’s prayer from the second chapter of Philippians, making it our own.
With Paul saying, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” he began by asking us to imitate Christ’s humility: by asking us to consider the greatness Christ willingly gave up for us. Paul described how Christ, when he was in heaven before his birth as a human, had equality with God within his grasp; but he threw that prospect aside, emptying himself. (Saints have built their lives on Kenosis, Paul’s Greek word for emptied.)
Paul then used three parallel expressions for Christ lowering himself. 1. He took on the form of a slave. 2. He came in human form. 3. He was found in human appearance.
Next Paul commented on the obedience of Jesus. (It has us recalling how Jesus said, “I came not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”) His obedience extended to his accepting an utterly degrading death nailed naked to a cross.
For Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night of Holy Week as seminarians we sang, “Christ became obedient for us, obedient to death, even death on a cross..” If you Google “Christus factus est pro nobis obediens,” You can hear the way we sang it in Latin.
That Latin chant put us under the cross of Jesus. Then on Saturday we concluded Paul’s hymn with “For this reason God has bestowed on him a name that is above all names.” As we sang, “Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum” we made Easter official.