Belfast Telegraph

Thought for the weekend: Seeing Christ in everyone

By Fr Patrick McCafferty

"There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, So that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people's interests instead. In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:1-2).

These words of the Apostle Paul are addressed to Christians as we gather to worship God this Sunday, in our various communions and traditions.

Imagine if these words were really implemented in our society and communities?

The Christian is one who has adopted the mind-set of Jesus Christ, receiving and understanding all of reality in His glorious light.

His radiance changes the nature and significance of all our experiences of life and interactions with others.

In Romans 12:2, the same apostle, Paul, calls us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.

The Greek word for repentance 'metanoia' means to have 'a new mind', 'new thoughts'.

De-programming mind-sets is challenging. It must begin with myself and be in a continuous state of updating. One of the very practical consequences of having the mind of Christ is to take a strong stand against every manifestation of racism in our neighbourhoods.

The evil of racism is causing great suffering and fear to our brothers and sisters from other cultures and ethnic origins, who have come to live among us, in Ireland. Intimidation and violent attacks are regularly reported. In his message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees earlier this year, Pope Francis said: "Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved. They are an occasion that Providence gives us to help build a more just society, a more perfect democracy, a more united country, a more fraternal world and a more open and evangelical Christian community".

May we see Christ in all those we meet and may His love for all people be easily recognised in those of us who love and serve Him.

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