Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests but also for those of others (Philippians 2:3). How radical these words from our second reading are. Self-interest is the prime motivator in politics and commerce throughout the world, and in the promotion of the individual self. From early age we are taught to look out for number one! Even when we are at our best and most other-centered, often there is just a bit of self-approval going on — after all, I’m being the kind of person I think everyone ought to be! These words of Philippians are lofty and seemingly impossible to achieve. Jesus seems to have recognized that. He was very tolerant of his chosen disciples and apostles who could not believe they had to forgive 70 times, who argued about who was the greatest, who were shocked when Jesus talked to the woman at the well who was not “one of us.” The beautiful but challenging reading from Philippians helps me look at my motivations and place my self-interest in the hands of the Lord. I doubt I can ever be free of self-interest. But I can invite into my heart the attitude that is in Christ Jesus, humility and service. (cf Philippians 6-11, the longer form of this second reading).
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia