30 August 2022

Putting on the Mind of Christ

22nd Week OT (T)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP
St. Albert the Great, Irving

What is it “to have the mind of Christ”? Think of this way: we talk about the Church as “the Body of Christ” of which each one of us is a member. My right big toe is a big toe on my right foot. It's not a nose or a tongue. My toe is not my nose or my tongue. They each have a specific function, a privileged location, and a distinctly different appearance. But my right big toe – like my nose and tongue – belongs to me. What they have in common is me. We could say that they are what they are insofar as they participate in me. By analogy, each one of us is who and what we are insofar as we participate in the mind of Christ – unique in our gifts, yes; but also common in our shared belonging to Christ. “Putting on the mind of Christ” then means that the unique individual freely assumes him or herself into the common Body of Christ and takes on the mission and ministry Jesus left that Body to complete. This is not merely a new identity; it's a total transformation – heart, mind, body, and soul – a new creation set on the Way to becoming Christ in the world. Our salvation is not merely about being rescued from sin and death; or being healed from an eternal wound; or being found not guilty of our many crimes against God. Our salvation is about living in the world as new creatures in Christ on the Way to becoming Christ more perfectly. We can only attempt this transformation – much less achieve it! – with the persistent and generous aid of God Himself. If my toes, nose, or tongue detach themselves from me, they cease being mine and they cannot fulfill their purpose for me. They cannot function as mine apart from me. Likewise, once we belong to Christ, we cannot fulfill our purpose as Christs if we detach ourselves from his Body, if we “take off” his mind. So long as we have the mind of Christ, we are fed by his Body and given every good gift to grow toward our perfection in him. Our daily challenge then is to use the gifts we've been given keep ourselves attached to Body of Christ – thinking with his mind, feeling with his heart, and discerning with his soul. This is the Way of Peace.     

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