by Javier Luis Gomez
Sometimes I am dumbstruck by Jesus. When I give myself space and just sit and think about who He is- I cannot help but be blown away.
Recently, I was meditating on the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians. In it, he says that “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. (Phil 2:6-8)
This famous passage is called the “Christ Hymn, ” and in it, Paul is waxing about the great humility of Jesus. In this verse, there is a lifetime’s worth of contemplation.
And because Jesus becomes human, I get to say things like, “Jesus had to learn how to walk- GOD had to learn how to walk.” Or crazy things like, “Jesus had to rely on his friends for support. Without Peter, James, and John, maybe the mission of Jesus- the mission of GOD, would not have taken off in the Mediterranean.”
These statements are so beautiful because they are so vexing and paradoxical. God had to learn! God had to grow! God needs us for his mission to be fulfilled. This is divine humility. Jesus shows what real power is, and that is to make oneself vulnerable and weak; to rely on other people for guidance and support.
We spend so much of our lives climbing the ladder of power and authority. We want to reap many accomplishments and establish ourselves as important, great, and necessary. But based on Paul’s letter and Christ’s example, I think the invitation this Lent is to be unimportant, small and helpless- to recognize that we need other people to bring about the kingdom of Jesus here on earth.
Be humble. Be divine. Be like Jesus.
As published in the March 5 issue of the Parish Bulletin.