Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As part of our continuing reflection on prayer in the letters of Saint Paul, we now turn to the great “Christological hymn” found in the Letter to the Philippians (2:6-11). Paul, a prisoner for the Gospel, exhorts his hearers to that deep joy which is the fruit of our imitation of God’s Son, who humbled himself and took on our human nature.
Christ’s complete obedience to the will of the Father, even to death on the cross, reverses the sin of Adam and restores our original dignity. Therefore God highly exalted him and gave him the name of “Lord”. At the name of Jesus, then, every knee must bend in heaven, on earth and under the earth (vv. 9-11).
As Jesus’ exaltation took place through his abasement, so in our lives and in our prayer we discover that, by lowering ourselves in humility and love, we are lifted up to God. May we more frequently bend the knee in praise and worship of Christ’s divinity and his Lordship over all creation. In our prayer, may we be ever more faithful witnesses of his sovereignty in our every thought, word and deed.
I offer a warm welcome to the ecumenical delegation of Christian leaders from Korea. I greet the pilgrimage groups from Nigeria, South Africa and Swaziland. My greeting also goes to the many student groups present. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, including those from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Norway, Australia, the Bahamas and the United States of America, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!