The way I see it
We are very proud of our opinions. Everyone is an armchair critic. From a young age, we are encouraged to express ourselves and not be silenced.
As long as we keep focused on why we express ourselves: it is to share who we are at that moment, so that we can then listen and change. The fact is, we can only change if there is dialogue, not monologue.
This is both true and untrue of our relationship with God. Each human person has something to offer. Can you remember that poem by Max Ehrmann, ‘Desiderata’, set to music and narrated by – for those old enough to remember -Telly Savalas. Wise words, and they remind us that everyone has a story to tell.
We can only have a human relationship with God. We share in the divine life – we are not divine (Sydney or otherwise: what do you mean you don’t know who Sydney Devine was?). And so, we come to God needing to speak, needing to pour out our souls. But, while with others, this is a sharing in mutual giving, with God it becomes a self-emptying. We empty ourselves of our ego, our troubles, our selfishness, yes, even our faulty notions of love. We do this, that we might be filled with God, and become utterly his.
His state was divine
On Good Friday, the acclamation before the reading of the Passion is
“Christ was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him up
and gave him the name
which is above all names.”
Philippians 2, 8-9
This is the second half of that hymn. The first half is
“Though he was in the form of God,
he did not count his equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave.”
In Christ, God has self-emptied and thus has shown us how to be.
St Paul urges us, just before ‘singing’ that hymn:
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”
Christ emptied himself out to fill us. In following him in his journey through Lent, we are emptying ourselves out to be filled with his Spirit so as to share in his glory.