The Word of God that is given to us this week is one of encouragement. This spirit of lifting up one another in Christ can be a source for the transformation of hearts and minds. Each of us is so deeply in need of Christ’s action to mold and shape us to be more like Him.
we all know what a bad attitude looks like. We can see it in the expression on the face, the rolling of eyes, or to sucking in of our teeth. You’ve seen it. When this happens we know it’s time for an “attitude check”. If we listen and look around us both in the Church and the world, there is a need for an attitude check. As Catholic Christians what is our attitude? Do we put ourselves above others and tell them do as we say do? Or do we encourage others in Christ, to be more like Christ in relationship to our world?
The key element of our living and witnessing our faith must reflect that of Christ. He sets the example for us to follow. How in what we say, what we do and what we believe is the love of Christ and the encouraging presence of His Spirit made manifest? Do we push faith and dogma down peoples throats, or do we encourage them with patience and understanding, calling forth the best in them? I realize that these questions may even be troubling to some, but I believe the scriptures this week lead us deeper into an “Attitude Check”.
To put on the attitude of Christ and to encourage others we have to understand what Christ’s attitude is. What do the scriptures tell us about Christ’s attitude. I think that we first see a glimpse of Christ’s attitude in the Gospel of John:
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Christ who was with the Father from the beginning comes forth from the Father filled with grace and truth! This is truth of Christ coming from the Father is the starting point for us if we are to have the Christ like attitude. We are open to sharing in God’s grace and to live that grace in truth. This living the grace filled life is demonstrated by Christ in His total emptying of Himself to enter into our context, to be one with us.
Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,…
he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
he humbled himself,
Now we have something clear and concrete as to what is the attitude of Christ. Humility and obedience are essential to the attitude of the Christian. For most, even those who call themselves Christian, have a great difficulty with this kind of attitude. The society, the world would call this being weak, or being a sucker. How does one expect to become anything, have power, money and influence if they have this kind of attitude? This is the vey point. To be Christian we must be counter cultural, that is to have the opposite attitude of the world. A worldly attitude is to put oneself over and above others at their expense. Not to be obedient, but for others to obey you and be loyal to you and your whim.
These scriptures are a guide to our attitude check that can bring us into a place of encouragement in Chist.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.