Prayer (Breviary) and Introduction – from the Cosmic Christ of yesterday to the servant Christ today

Phil 2: 5-11 – so that we might be the same as Christ Jesus! 

Yuppy (Young and upwardly mobile) and Downwardly mobile! Taking the lowest place! Two ways of understanding Jesus in the NT – two Christologies – Descending (John and Paul esp) ; Ascending (Mark esp). Not mutually exclusive but complementary.

Philippians among the last letters of Paul – a mature Paul who reflects upon his experience of the Jesus he proclaims – an early Christian hymn. The ‘kenosis’ – emptying, further and further downwards – God becoming human, human becoming a slave, a slave becoming a condemned criminal executed on a Cross!

He is the Word made Flesh – but what is the environment, social setting, in which the Divine Word is shaped.

The Annunciation – poverty of Nazareth, the poor young girl, Mary

First witnesses to Jesus at Bethlehem – displaced (the census) homeless birth among the animals – shepherds whom God comes to meet (angels) – night shepherds, the poorest (and despised) workers of Israel. Because of their work were considered unclean and unworthy to enter the temple. An excluded group.

Refugee family – fleeing a tyrant, political (Herod) and religious (leaders in Jerusalem) persecution

Growing up in Nazareth – place of poverty, manual labour (Joseph the carpenter), marginalised community. ‘Any good come from Nazareth’  – ‘prophets do not come from Galilee’.

Ministry – among the poorest, total identification with the poor, the broken, the wounded, the outcast and the sinner. (eg healing the leper in Mark 1: 40-45)

Difference between the Beatitudes in Matthew and Luke – Matthew (Matt 5: a new Moses a New Law (also Wisdom literature);  Luke – the Prophetic cry of the poor – the voice of the voiceless utters the Word

Death of a convicted criminal, a slave on the Roman Cross – outcast of his people, the ‘scapegoat’ carrying the sins of His people -the outcast becomes the saviour, the slave servant become the Lord

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