Greatness Really Means Littleness

by | Dec 24, 2019 | Formation, Reflections

Although great, Jesus becomes little for our sake. As we associate, as Jesus, with the little folks, we grasp the meaning of Christmas that greatness lies in littleness.

In the beginning is the Word, the Word is with God, and is God. All things come to be through him, and without him nothing comes to be. In other words, to be the Word is to have God’s tremendous greatness.

But the one who is at the bosom of the Father and reveals him does not show off this greatness. Rather, he becomes flesh and makes his dwelling among us. Yes, the Firstborn, the only Son, who is God, becomes little for our sake to give us greatness by his littleness.

So then, the Word in becoming flesh (John), or Jesus at his birth (Matthew and Luke), already embodies the “upside-down sign.” The helpless baby that seems ordinary, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, is himself the sign. And all this means, among other things, that to gain is to lose, (Mt 10, 39; 16, 25; Mk 8, 35; Lk 9, 25; 17, 33; Jn 12, 25). That greatness is littleness, wealth, blessedness, is poverty, strength is weakness, to lead is to serve (Mt 18, 4; 20, 26-27; 23, 11; Mk 10, 43-44; Lk 9, 48; 22, 26).

And it ought to be so among us Christians, that we may bear the likeness of Jesus and keep his paradoxical teachings. Following him in bringing glad tidings to the poor, with trust in Providence and empty of ourselves, we assure, yes, our eternal happiness, our greatness (SV.EN III:384). And a most effective sign, a pledge, of the future greatness is the Lord’s Supper.

Lord Jesus, strike down the pride that rules our hearts. Make us one with the poor and little folks, and keep with them the true religion, the living faith (SV.EN XI:190). For the Father reveals to them true greatness and these things that he hides from the wise with their deep thoughts and speculations.

25 December 2019
Nativity of the Lord
Is 52, 7-10; Heb 1, 1-6; Jn 1, 1-18