Fr Simon Penhaligon, Dean of Northampton Cathedral and member of the Sion Community, opened our Mission Week by exploring the second reading at Mass from the letter to the Philippians. We are to put on the mind of Christ, and if we want to know what that is the then St Paul tells us in passage that can be summed up in four words: empty, humble, obedient, servant. With Christ as our model we must empty ourselves of our ego, take ourselves lightly, putting others first, doing the will of the Father, and giving ourselves in the service of others out of love of God and neighbour.
St Paul tells us to be united in love with a common purpose, and this is our common purpose: with the mind of Christ, to build our communion with God and with one another, and to bring others into that communion as those sent out on mission. Another word which Pope Francis has chosen alongside communion and mission for the Synod of Bishops taking place in Rome this month is participation. The culture we live in can push us into a consumerist mindset even when it comes to church, but rather than consumers we are participants, with a part to play in building up the church and witnessing to God’s love in the world. Love that is visible above all on the cross, through which we are led back to the Father and given the fullness of life set free from sin and death.
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If you would like to (re-) read the scripture readings from Mass you can find them here.