Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop

(Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 15:15-24)

St. Charles Borromeo hailed from a prominent Italian family.  His father was a count and his mother, a Medici.  Yet he did not choose a rich man’s leisure.  Charles worked for Church reform after Trent and cared for victims of the plague which struck Milan.  Charles’ life mirrors that of Jesus’ as described by St. Paul in the first reading.

The passage may have been a hymn to Christ sung in the primitive Church which Paul drafted into his letter to the Philippians.  It expresses the humility of God as his most remarkable characteristic.  More than being almighty or all-knowing, some commentators say that God is God because of his disregard for being important.  God certainly does not care to impress humans.  Indeed, it is often wished that He would be more assertive.

We love Jesus, however, for becoming like us.  But we should not think him weak or simplistic.  Rather He will support us when we turn to him in our need.  Some of his greatest assistance comes from the teachings.  Following his directives and relying on his grace, we will experience his being raised to glory.