Today’s second Mass reading is from Philippians 2, and contains the marvellous hymn which is well used in the liturgy of the Church. The chapter begins with these words which are not part of the hymn: ‘If there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others’.
The Greek word here translated as ‘incentive’ comes from a word meaning encouragement, exhortation, consolation, or comfort. Perhaps we could say that it is love which draws us, encourages us, gives us hope, consoles us in our challenges.
May we respond to the drawing of this Love, personified in Jesus Christ. May he bless us and keep us all close to Himself this day.