The Second Reading for this coming Sunday

The last words of last Sunday’s reading from Philippians find their echo in the first words of this week’s reading:

Last week:

Avoid anything in your everyday lives that would be unworthy of the gospel of Christ.

This week:

let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ

That double challenge was set us in our parish last Sunday – and in particular there was encouragement that, each day, we should seek to do something extra that would be worthy of the gospel of Christ: something that showed love and care of neighbour, love and care of God.

I’m not sure how others are faring. At the time of writing I think I have a 50% success rate. Some days there does not seem to have been time or opportunity, but maybe it’s that I lack sufficient faith, care, application or creative thought…

St Paul, below, urges us to find fresh encouragement in Christ and in the Spirit. And not to be anxious about achieving a 100% hit rate, but to be eager (in humility) to grow in Christ and grow in the Spirit.

Opportunities, even challenging opportunities to look to the interests of others will come. Maybe I/we are just not ready for them yet!

Philippians 2:1-11
Second reading for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Christ’s Example of Humility
2.1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Lights in the World
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.


Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photo: (c) 2020, Allen Morris. Faith, Hope and Charity. Lichfield Cathedral

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