“He emptied himself.”
All during this Lent, we have been reflecting as a community on the “Inside-Out” experience of God’s work in our lives. Our readings and prayer have focused on how God enters into the life of the believer and transforms us – turns us inside-out – and sets us on a path of new life.
However, none of this experience would be valuable – nor would it even be possible – had God not first gone through His own inside-out experience. Now, we enter into Holy Week, and throughout our prayerful reflection from now until Easter, we will walk with Jesus through His inside-out experience that began when the Son of God emptied himself for our sake.
The drama of the Passion that we just heard is really enough. However, I want to invite you to truly enter into this experience this year. Celebrate Holy Week and go with Jesus, Who turns Himself inside-out for us, culminating in His death – death on a cross.
This is the heart of our lives as Christians – we who profess to want to be like Christ. And so, we too must empty ourselves, experiencing the humiliation of the Cross and receiving the life that can only come through it.
At the heart of every one of our Christian vocations is this mystery – the mystery of Christ’s emptying. Out of love for others, we must be willing to give of ourselves completely – even to the point of becoming nothing (which is what that “emptying” means). Then – and only then – through our sharing in Christ’s sacrifice – can we share in His life, which we will celebrate next Sunday on Easter. But the Cross comes first. Jesus is turned inside-out first. All we can do is watch and follow, doing as He did.
And he emptied himself first.