Thought of the Day September 19, 2017 True self vs false self

By 9:23 AM

We continue our reflection on Philippians 2:5-11.
In Jesus' kenosis (emptying) while remaining the same, he took on the less without becoming less. In our kenosis we too remain the same human person, but in our self-emptying we become what we could not become by our own power. We became in baptism of water a new creation, no longer destined to the second death, but now called to share eternal life in the glory of God's presence. It was God, in his love and mercy, who emptied us of our state of alienation from him, cleansed us in the blood of the Paschal Lamb, and filled us with his life. We did nothing but accept in faith and live in hope what God did. "to be nobody but yourself/ in a world which is doing/ its best day and night to/ make you everybody else/ means to fight the hardest/ battle which any / human being can/ fight and never/ stop fighting."(e.e. cummings)

However, it is when this relationship with God does not seem sufficient for us that we lose our true identity and begin to embrace the masks of the false self. When we think that we are more than we are, then we begin to strive for that more, which in turn leads us further from our true identity and worth. Like the disciples we prize ourselves better than the others and we strive for that position of honor. We set up little kingdoms and seek the external trappings of the world and society to cover up what we wrongfully perceive to be our lacks and defects, shortcomings and inabilities. We fail to remember the words of Paul: "I warn each of you not to think more highly of himself than he ought. Let him estimate himself soberly, in keeping with the measure of faith that God has apportioned him" (Ro 12:3). "Never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others' interests rather than to his own" (Phil 2:3-4).

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