Deut 10-11; Phil 4; Psalm 119:49-64
Be of the same mind . . .
Of course you may think that I have skipped back to Philipians 2 here – ‘be of the same mind . . .’, ‘let the same mind be in you . . .’ – but here we see that this is a common thread through Paul’s letter as he urges Euodia and Syntyche to ‘be of the same mind’
Sadly in an age where Rene Descartes has come to define our humanity, this is reduced to ‘agree with one another over doctrine . . .’ yet it is clear from the context that Paul sees the human in a much more integrated fashion. When back in Chapter two he calls us to the imiatio Christi, it is no mere ‘thinking the same’ – rather ‘the same mind’ is embodied in unity of Being. In this case in Unity of Self emptying. Indeed if we were so self emptying, it may well be asked would we find ourselves at daggers drawn over doctrine – in humility thinking of others as better than ourselves, and wiser.
In order to receive life we need empty hands – we need to let go of Our Right.
Paul goes on to say something which is oft overlooked. Let your gentleness be known to all. It is interesting to ask if in our dealings with our brothers and sisters ‘Gentleness’ is our cardinal virtue.
Finally he bids us consider where the eye of our heart is directed. When we come into conflict with one another, our focus is on the other ‘the wrong they have done to me . . ‘ ‘Their character faults . . .’ ‘Their false doctrine . . .’ In other words we end up judging one another. Our minds are set on earthly things, as he puts it in his letter to the Colossians. Paul it seems would have nothing of this. Rather our hearts and minds are to be given over in their entirety to ‘the things that are above ‘that which is pure and true and beautiful’. If we so do, we will undoubtedly see those around us in a far far more generous light than looking directly at them would ever produce.
For they too are children of God, bearing the Imago Dei