Casa Santa Marta, not Palazzo Apostolico

by | Dec 23, 2014 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistHoly Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (B), December 28, 2014 – Sir 3, 2-6. 12-14; Col 3, 12-21; Lk 2, 22-40

Put on … heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Col 3, 12)

God wants us to be humble and holy in his sight.

In Nazareth, sharing life together in deep intimacy are God-with-us, Mary and Joseph. Jesus’ humble origin and upbringing—shocking to his fellow villagers—makes known that the Lord chooses not the wealthy and the powerful, but rather the poor and the weak.

That is to say, to be welcomed into the presence of God who alone is holy, one has to be among “the poor of Yahweh.” These poor folks humbly recognize, first of all, Someone greater than them, an unfathomable mystery, awesome and fascinating at the same time. They confess their uncleanness before this wholly Other.

Such humility is, without doubt, only a basic worship. But it is the beginning of wisdom that opens up new horizons. It makes possible for one to “find God in all things” (St. Ignatius of Loyola), even in tragedies and transgressions, to wonder at them, to keep them and reflect on them.

From the tragic sense of life can arise meaning, in the form of, say, heartfelt and understanding mercy that is born of the conviction that “if it is painful for one to have to cease to exist one day, more painful perhaps would be to have to continue being always one self, and no more than oneself, without being able to be another at the same time, without being able to be at once everything else, without being able to be all” (Unamuno). And given that “to acknowledge our sins … is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s forgiveness,” it is not heretical to affirm that “we encounter Jesus in our sins” (Pope Francis).

Those who persevere in humility and simplicity are favored by God with the revelation of things he hides from the wise, and he displays for them the marvelous might of his hand, until they become as poor as Jesus, Mary and Joseph, as Simeon and Anna. Having nothing but their faith in the one who hears the cry of the poor, they wait only for him and offer themselves to him. They believe what St. Vincent de Paul believed: “When human prudence fails, the light of divine wisdom begins to dawn” (Abelly [1664] III:250).

And the poor who are assembled in Jesus’ name make him present, of course. They are the living images of the poor Christ with a broken and bloodied body, who, though feeling forsaken by his Father, commended nonetheless his spirit into his hands, and thus entered again into his holy glory.

Lord, grant that we may follow the example of the Holy Family and so dwell in your glorious presence.

Ross Reyes Dizon

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