Sunday, September 28, 2014

~A Thought~


On my drive home one night, about a week ago, I was saying the rosary and meditating on the sorrowful mysteries. When I was meditating on the third mystery, the crowning of thorns, a thought came to me that I could not stop thinking about. 

Christ's humility.

Jesus was not overcome with the fear of humiliation. Being striped of His clothes to be scourged and having a crown of thorns forced upon his head to be mocked... I can think of nothing more humiliating. 

Yet, Jesus accepted it. 

How many times do we fear the risk of humiliation or embarrassment to an extent that we are willing to avoid what is truly right? To an extent that we let it control us? 

There are times we are terrified of experiencing embarrassment, even the slightest amount, and do whatever is in our power to stay away from the possibility. We are willing to go through great lengths to do so, even if it means not choosing to do the right thing. 

We avoid humiliation at all costs. 

Or, when we do experience embarrassment we fail to respond humbly. We fail to accept it as Jesus did and waste it rather than offer it up to God with love.  

Jesus is the ultimate example of what it truly means to have humility. What it means to fully accept one's humiliations and embarrassments. 

He did so out of pure love for us. He did so for our sake. 

If Jesus went through all of his humiliations for us, how can we be afraid to do what is right even if it means embarrassment, being judged, losing friends, and not at least try?

(I find it interesting how in this painting Jesus is shown bending down and leaning in so that he can be humiliated and mocked as well as have extreme physical pain)

I thought it was amazing how after thinking all week about this, and how to imitate Christ's humility, the second reading for today's Sunday Mass was all about just that! 

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, 
any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, 
any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, 
having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 
Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, 
but also to the interests of others. 
Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, 
who though he was in the form of God, 
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 
but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
 being born in the likeness of men. 
And being found in human form he humbled himself 
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him 
the name which is above every name, 
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ 
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." 
~ Philippians 2:1-11

Wow. That pretty much lays it all out. 

Do we empty ourselves of our self-love, ego, vanity, pride, and have a servant's heart for God's glory? 
Do we choose the path of humility, even if it means accepting our cross and dying to ourselves still more? 

If Jesus, the King of Kings, lowered Himself and accepted the most humiliating things to be done to him for our sake, how can we not strive to accept even the smallest humbling moments, for Him? 

I think now is the perfect time to pull out my handy dandy "The Imitation of Christ":
"Do not be concerned about who is on your side or who is against you; just be sure that God is with you. If your conscience is clear, be sure that He will defend you. The malice of others can never harm you as long as He is by your side. Be silent and endure for a while and you will experience the help of God in your need. No doubt about it, for God knows when and how to deliver you. So put yourself in His care. It is up to God to help and to deliver from all dilemma. However, we should realize that often it is good for others to know our defects and call us to order for them, for it keeps us humble. When you admit your faults, you easily pacify others and reconcile yourself with those you have offended. God never refuses the humble; rather He delivers and comforts them and fills them with His grace. He also opens to them the secrets of His Heart and draws them to himself, raising them to the heights of glory because of their humility. Humble people are always at peace, even when they are put to shame, because they trust in God and not in the world. So, if you wish to reach the height of perfection, never think of yourself as being virtuous until you know sincerely in your heart that you are the least of all." (Book 2, Chapter 2, page 71)

 "Christ: My child, as much as you can abandon your self-love, so much will you be able to enter into Me. As the longing for nothing exterior brings you peace, so does the complete surrender of your inmost self unite you with God. You must learn perfect renunciation of your will to Mine, without contradiction or complaint. Follow Me: I am the Way, and the Truth, and the life (John 14:6). Without the way, no human being can go; without the truth, no human being can know; and without life, no human being can live. I am the way you must follow, the truth you must believe, and the life you must hope for... Let us, then, all take courage and go forward together; for Jesus indeed is with us. It is for His sake that we have taken this cross upon us, and it is for His sake that we will persevere to the end. He will help us, for He has gone the way before us. See, how our king marches before us, and He will fight for us. Let us follow Him courageously, fearing no perils. Let us be ready to die for Him in battle; and let us not stain our honor by abandoning the way of the cross."
(Book 3, Chapter 56, page 224)

This is all incredibly powerful and beautiful to think about. 

Think about it. 

Con amore in Cristo,


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