Daily Lectio: Wednesday June 24

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptizer…..the day when we celebrate the birth of the one who heralded the arrival of the Lord.  In my mind, St. John has always been the eccentric relative, the one who had enormous wisdom and who stood just outside the mainstream (thank God) and called all those around him to look….to notice….to see.

Today’s Gospel text from St. Luke has this wonderful little sentence.  When some come and share with John that they have encountered this Jesus, John says this:

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

I have loved this phrase….it is so countercultural in our day and time.  When we look around us we see this drive to accomplish, to succeed, to gain, to buy… Yet, the deep resonances of our practice tell us that salvation–wholeness, not the “flee out of the world” variety–is to be found in self-emptying.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

In the Letter to the Philippians, we see that this practice of self-emptying–what St. Paul calls kenosis–is at the heart of what it means to have the mind of Christ.  The Risen One shows us what it means, when he emptied himself–bringing the incarnation of God into our created existence.

Given our society, this continues to be a challenge that hooks me:  this call to kenosis, to self-emptying…to this deeper space of Christian practice.

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