How's this for humility? Jesus was with God in the glory of heaven. Then He humbled Himself to take on human flesh and dwell on earth (Jn 1:14). He was born in the "lowest place," a stable, and was laid in a manger, an animal feeding trough from which no person would dream of eating (see Lk 2:7). He did not live in the royal city, Jerusalem, but in the lowly, disregarded village of Nazareth (see Jn 1:46). During His public ministry, He was homeless (see Lk 9:58) and was thrown out of towns (e.g. Lk 4:29). He was condemned to die the death of a criminal: crucifixion. Could there be any lower, more humbling place than hanging on a cross in agony, being mocked publicly and unmercifully?
Jesus found a lower, more humbling place. He Who dwells "in unapproachable light" (1 Tm 6:16) has taken on the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist. He resides in the tabernacles of our churches, sometimes relegated to a humble place barely noticeable to the casual visitor. Often He is ignored in His eucharistic presence, even by Catholics. Won't Jesus ever stop finding the lowest place? Why does He so humble Himself?
Jesus is "gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29), and we are tortured and confused at heart (Jer 17:9). Jesus will continue to humble Himself if that's what it takes to penetrate our hardened hearts. In response, humble yourself before Him (Jas 4:10).
This weekend, clothe yourself with humility (1 Pt 5:5), and spend at least ten minutes in prayer in front of the humble, eucharistic Jesus in the tabernacle of your church.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2005 through November 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005.