Reflect the Creator and Owner of All

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus is the image of the God whom no one has ever seen.  Hence, he cannot but reflect God who is merciful, kind, and faithful.

No doubt, we Christians want to reflect Jesus.  And we believe, of course, that to reflect him means to reflect also the very God whose image he is.

Nor is there doubt at all that there are always those of us who make pacts with today’s Caesars.  With those who hold the first places of power, gain and honor.  And as we do so, we put at risk our faith as Christians and what we stand for.

For it is not rare that we stumble and slip, full of envy of the proud and wicked with wealth.  And we let our access to those with power, wealth, and influence, go to our heads.  So, before we know it, we are on the way, not to reflect God, but to oust him (Reflexiones 4).  That is to say, we fall victim to clericalism.

And clericalism makes for cutthroat vying for power.  We have to beat the others who are vying for power with us, real or imagined.  It may even be a good idea to get rid of them.  And of those who speak against us, and against the way we are and live.  We should trap them.  Lay out before them questions or dubia that we know to answer.  But we want to force their hand or put them on the spot.

But then, there is always the risk that we who lay the trap may fall into it ourselves.  We may end up giving away our being two-faced.  Hence, rather than reflect Jesus and be God’s image, we reflect the world and bear the image of greed that brings death.

Reflect the poor Jesus.

But do we not know better?  After all, we have it from Jesus that to be blessed is to be poor.  And that to seek others’ good, not our own good, is what makes for a life that is full.  Hence, to reflect Jesus means to reflect him as the one who wills  to be poor to make us rich.  The one who comes not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for all, to give his body up and shed his blood.

And thus, Jesus is the image of the God who is, yes, poor.  For to win us over, he bets all and loses all:  his servants and, finally, his Son, the only one the Father has left.  To reflect the poor Jesus means, too, to share in his being the image of God.

Lord Jesus, grant that we reflect you in your poverty, aware, as was St. Vincent, of our utter wretchedness and poverty, and of your unconditional love.

22 October 2023
29th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Is 45, 1. 4-6; 1 Thes 1, 1-5b; Mt 22, 15-21