Sunday, April 9, 2017

He emptied himself

You show us, Lord,
again and again,
that life is about emptying ourselves
to make room for God.

Your equality with God was not what you came to prove.
Your obedience to God
and your unity with all who suffer
show us many ways to empty ourselves
of our self-righteousness and egotism.

You shared an earthly
and heavenly banquet with your friends,
offering yourself (though they didn't understand right away)
and we learn
to give without counting the cost.

You forgave your betrayer
even as he dipped bread in the bowl with you
and we learn
that it's better not to take things too personally.

You loved Peter
in spite of his false bravado and grand promises
and we learn
to accept people as they are and help them find their way.

You prayed and grieved
and received God's will,
and we learn
to let go and trust.

You accepted an unfaithful kiss
and we learn
that those we love sometimes make mistakes they -- and we -- regret.

You rejected armed conflict in your defense
and we learn
that violence is never the answer.

You healed someone you didn't know
and we learn
that in the midst of our own anguish
we can help others.

You kept silent in the face of many accusations
and we learn
that it's not always necessary to defend ourselves.

You endured abuse and torture
and we learn
that you are in all those who suffer.

You died between two criminals
and we learn
that you are closest to those on the margins.

You felt abandoned
and we learn
that ultimately, we are never abandoned.

You gave your spirit to God
and we learn that
that's where our spirits belong.

You were buried in a borrowed tomb,
and we learn
to accept generosity wherever we find it.

Help us, O Christ, to understand,
as you did,
that our lives are not about us.
Help us to empty ourselves, too,
so that God's plan can unfold.

+AMEN.

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