It is amazing to me, how out of seemingly inconspicuous conversations - A message can arise. It can spark an idea or in this case, a desire to deliver a message.
And what a better subject of “love and humility” than JESUS ! The first place we see the humility of God expressed in the life of Jesus is at his conception and birth. The infinitely powerful God took on the limitation of the human condition to become one like us in all things but sin.
God’s humble love reduces us to our knees in adoration and praise. With his birth to a lowly maiden in poverty, his experience as a refugee, his presentation in the Temple with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb (cf. Luke 2:24), we begin to notice the theme of humility running throughout the stories of Jesus’ early life. It seems like the Father willed that his Son descend to the experience of millions of people who would also know the plight of poverty and material insecurity. Later at his baptism, Jesus had no need to descend into the waters of the Jordan for he was without sin. Yet, he choose to do so out of solidarity with us who know the burden of sin and a desire to lift us out of the mud of slavery towards true freedom. This was his mission for God “raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy out of the ash heap” (Ps. 113:7). As he arrived in Jerusalem for his passion, he entered the city on a donkey as a sign of humility and peace (cf. Matt. 21:5). At the Last Supper, he descended on his knees to wash the disciples’ feet—a humble task of service reserved for slaves. With his death on Calvary, Jesus choose to “empty himself” for he was “humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross” (Phil. 2: 7-8). On the cross Jesus went down to the depths of where the human spirit could descend in suffering and despair in order to reach all those who would go there. In his agony, he descended to the point of utter abandonment even by God when he cried out “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). But the Father did not leave him in that hell but raised him on high and together with him, all who would believe. Because of Christ’s descent out of humble love to the God-forsaken, no one would ever be without hope.
The dramatic descent of Jesus from heavenly glory to his humble birth, his life and the hell he experienced on the cross was not just expressed in actions. Throughout his saving journey from the heights to the depths, his actions were pervaded by a spirit of humility for he was “gentle and humble of heart” (Matt. 11:29). In his teaching he warned those who would exalt themselves that they would be humbled and promised those who humbled themselves that they would be exalted (Matt. 23:12; Luke 14:11). In order to learn Jesus’ way of love, his followers would also need to make that humble descent. Often I fear that our search for God ends in frustration for as we try to ascend to him, God is descending to us which means we miss each other! It is like two friends on an escalator in a shopping mall who meet while one is going up and the other is going down. Yes, God’s saving love raises us up but only after we have encountered him in humble lowliness both in ourselves and in others. So often we miss the point that the power of God’s unconditional love lies in his humility that allows itself to be hidden, powerless and even rejected.
As we continue the great work of evangelization in our time, let God’s humility continue to confound and amaze us. God’s indescribable love and humility is what produces love and humility in us. As we proclaim the Gospel with courage and conviction in a world of many false gods of power and control, may we do so with hearts that have been moved to faith by the humility of our God who descends from the heights to the depths so that we can be raised from the depths to the heights.
While researching for the words to write a post about love and humility,
I ran across a post by:
Fr. Billy Swan. A priest of the Diocese of Ferns, Ireland. Stop the press ! My search ended. Here it is ! ( Thank you Fr. Swan )