Today’s second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians is known as the “Kenotic Hymn.” This comes from the Greek word Kenosis, which draws upon an idea of
“self-emptying.” The hymn speaks to us about the idea that God “emptied” Himself and became a slave. This is the incarnation – God becoming man. And then that slave was obedient even unto death, but not just any death, a humiliating death on a cross. This is the Paschal Mystery. This is where the self-emptying of God is displayed in its most profound form – on the cross. This is what God has done for us so that we might be offered the gift of God’s merciful love and salvation. He has given everything and held nothing back. Many of the spiritual masters throughout Christian history have said that we should then imitate Christ and offer ourselves in whatever way – in humility. This is the beginning of the spiritual life. Humility before God and what He has achieved for us is the foundation and starting point for our attitude at prayer. This Holy Week, let us come into these final days of Lent with a spirit of humility, thanking God for all He has done for us.