Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our Humble God (late Maundy Thursday posting)

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

“Fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, (Jesus) rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist…”

Lest we have the wrong impression that Jesus was weak and so ended unto the Cross, we are shown in the Holy Gospel the real glory of Jesus: the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God. He was fully aware of who he was: You call me master and teacher, and rightly so, for indeed I am. His knowledge of his Divinity all the more makes his gesture very significant. From what he did, we could see the humility of God. Jesus did not cling to his Divine nature and took upon himself the lowliness of ours. Not only did he wash his disciples’ feet, he washed us of sin with his precious blood shed upon the wood of the Cross. He practiced what he preached. He said that the gentiles lord it over them and the great ones make their presence felt (Luke 22:25) but it should not be so amongst his disciples. For the ones who are greatest must be the servant of all. He who was given power over everything, he who was from God, he who is Lord and Teacher – he bent down and performed the most humiliating service than any servant can render, that is, to wash another person’s feet. The sacrifice that he was about to make upon the wood of the Cross is the utmost humiliation of God – for what God is there that would sacrifice himself in order to save his lowly creatures. It is this Divine humiliation that takes place in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. God does not only take upon himself human flesh. He goes even further down by hiding beneath the humble appearance of bread and wine, food and drink. He heeds the voice of his priests and comes down upon our altar when his words are repeated by them over bread and wine. God who becomes food and drink, God who obeys his priests – this is our God, our truly humble God! God who lays down his life for us, God who washes not only our feet but our souls as well – this is our God, our truly humble God! God who no longer calls us his servants but his friends, God who reveals to us everything – this is our God, our truly humble God!

And then he tells his priests: Do this in memory of me. He tells us: If I who am your Master and Teacher washed your feet, so should you wash each other’s feet. God, our truly humble God, leads us along the way of humility. He reveals to us the only way to his kingdom is by the way of humiliation and self-emptying, the way of self-denial and sacrifice. By his Incarnation and Paschal Mystery, our blessed Lord goes down into the depths and by doing so, is exalted! The Son of Man enters into his glory! 

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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