Pope John Paul II said that Christ, ever-glorious, "still bears the signs of the passion, which is His true humanity, but now is revealed in the splendor of divinity. Close to us in suffering and death, Christ attracts us now to Him in glory, blessing us and making us participants in his eternity."
During today's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about the canticle that forms part of the second chapter of St. Paul's letter to the Christians of Philippi, the Greek city which was the apostle's first stop on his mission to spread the Gospel in Europe.
The Holy Father explained that this prayer, "Christ, servant of God," describes the "'kenosis' of the Son of God, or the 'emptying' of His divine glory" in the Incarnation "until His death on the Cross, the torturous fate of slaves which made Him last among all and a true brother of humanity, sinful and rejected, who suffer."
On the other hand, he added, "the triumph of Christ is fulfilled in Easter when Christ is reestablished by the Father in the splendor of divinity and is celebrated as Lord by the whole of creation and by all men who are by now redeemed. God 'exalts' His Son, conferring upon him a glorious 'name' which in biblical language indicates the person himself and his dignity. This name is 'kyrios' or 'Lord'."