Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death–
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Greetings to one and all on this the first day of the New Year according to the Gregorian Calendar. In the Church Calendar, however, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name. It is on this day that we Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at his Jewish naming day. It was not until this day that the charge laid upon Mary and Joseph was fulfilled. Jesus was named before God on this day. What does that mean for those of us who have been brought into the family of God through the birth of Jesus? The Incarnation marks the coming of Jesus, the Light of the World, to be our guide, our God and our brother.

As we live into the remainder of this Christmas Season and celebrate the dawning of the new light of Christ in Epiphany, I pray that the newness of the work we have been given to do might inspire us to deeper faith, more regular prayer and heightened sensitivities to the challenges of living out our faith in the world.

That we have brought into the Holy Family is not cause to relax and feel as though we’ve ‘arrived.’ Just as Paul says in the text from above, whatever relationship we have with God by virtue or Jesus’ invitation into the Holy Family, is ‘not something to be exploited’. Rather, we are to empty ourselves of personal and community agendas and focus squarely on Jesus and his will for the world.

Happy New Beginnings to you all!! May the Dream of God become the most fervent desire of our hearts as we move into this next chapter of Mission and Ministry in the name of God Incarnate, Jesus our teacher, our Lord and our Brother.