Growing up, my mom would always encourage us to have good posture. She would always tell us to “sit up straight” at Mass or at the kitchen table, then explain her concern for our necks and backs and how they were going to be all messed up as we got older. Well my posture is ok now - perhaps my mom gets the credit – but there is something more important about this whole notion of posture.
I don’t know anything about physical posture, so I will spare you the lecture. But I want to propose the concept of spiritual posture. Have you ever thought about your spiritual posture? Maybe now’s the time.
“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” Philippians 2:6-8
Maybe it is because it is the year of St. Paul and I have never truly embraced his words before, but Paul is truly on to something. In the above passage he gives us an image of Jesus as emptying Himself. As the opposite of emptying is grasping, we are given an image to instantly challenge us. Jesus’ spiritual posture is that of the cross. His arms are wide open emptying himself to the world and those he came to save. His act on the cross was the climax of His whole life, moment by moment emptying his grace and love on His people. The alternative for Jesus was to grasp the Father and not be willing or open to be the savior of the world. Thankfully, for our salvation, Jesus chose to come as a man, but still God to redeem the world.
My friends, is your spiritual posture at this moment that of emptying yourself or grasping for something? My opinion is that we all have become pretty darn good graspers. We will grasp for anything these days if it makes us feel good, feel loved, or a part of things. I talk to people all the time who seem to be grasping at attention from other guys or girls. They seem to be grasping at popularity at parties or bars. They seem to be grasping at alcohol or drugs to take away the pain in their hearts. They seem to be grasping at hope, while burying themselves in despair and sin. Some people even grasp to busy schedules or hobbies just to drown out something or someone they want to avoid. We grasp and we grasp, clinging to things and people that lead us away from our true selves. It seems that we grasp in fear and that there is a lack of trust and faith in the One who loves us and longs for us to be free.
Grasping means we let go of the things that lead us away from Jesus and the life He wants us to live. It means opening our arms like Him, and allowing ourselves to be emptied. Another way to put it is, that when we allow ourselves to be emptied and we open our arms to the Lord, we allow ourselves to RECEIVE every gift and grace from the Lord. My friends our spiritual posture must be that of receiving from the Lord. Be someone who receives instead of grasps or takes. Receive the Lord’s mercy and healing for the places in you heart that need to be healed. Receive the Lord’s affection and affirmation and know you are special to Him. Receive your identity and vocation, giving you mission and purpose in your life. Receive everything from Him!
The reality of our spiritual posture is, if we constantly grasp, we are not open to receive. Take a moment today and ask yourself what you are grasping to. Today might be a good day to let it go and open your arms like Christ to receive.
God Bless You,