Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Truly, Fully, God! Truly, Fully Man! What a tremendous combination! Jesus Christ – Son of God. Son of Mary! So I surmise that if Jesus had wanted to enter the Olympics surely He would have walked away with every gold medal and  would have broken every record! No-one could have had better qualifications than He, “In him, in bodily form lives divinity in all its fullness and in Him you too find your fulfilment, in Him who is the head of every sovereignty and ruling force.” So wrote St. Paul in his Letter to the Colossians,(2.9).
Everything we know about Jesus leaves us with the firm impression that on those occasions when He drew upon His Almighty Power it was to lead people to believe that He was ‘From God.’ Often a surge of compassion moved Him to act miraculously to help those in distress. Never did He entertain the ambition of being an all- conquering warrior.

Jesus refused to draw upon His almighty power to make life easier for Himself. He Himself made the frailty of His humanity bear the weight of His divinity!  St. Matthew describes to how, as a prelude to His Public Ministry, Jesus was tempted by the devil three times – twice with the taunt, “If you are the Son of God…” and finally, “If  you fall at my feet and do me homage I will give you all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour,” (Mtt. 4).  Jesus would have none of this!

When He was nailed in agony  on the cross the Chief Priests, the Scribes and the Elders  mocked  Him, “He saved others, He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in Him,” (Mtt.27.41). 

Though healthy  Jesus did  steal  moments for Himself to relax after daily spending hours teaching crowds of people,  ministering to the sick, walking from place to place. This exhausted Him.  Who would blame Jesus for sleeping  in the fishing boat while his friends battled with the turbulent waves?      

Interesting that His relatives were anxious about how much  He was being pressured  by His work!  “He went home again, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal.21 When his relations heard of this, they set out to take charge of him; they said, 'He is out of his mind,'” (Mk. 3. 20).

St. Paul would have us understand, “The mind of Christ Jesus ...who being in the form of God, did not count  equality with God something to be grasped. But He EMPTIED Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are, (Phil. 2.5)

I personally am deeply moved when I read of what happened when He healed the woman who had endured the wretchedness of so many years of internal bleeding. She touched His garment expecting this would be sufficient to heal her. We are told Jesus felt healing power going out of Him.  (Lk. 8.46). I see Jesus as being ‘emotionally drained’ as He gave to people His full attention, loving them with all His heart – the heart of a divine person! Jesus alone knew   how much the whole of His caring ministry was taking out of Him! 

More than anything else Jesus, as God, must have grieved that the People God had lovingly selected as His very own had

by its sinfulness become the much loved People that continuously rejected God’s overtures of love.’  By becoming completely one with us in all things but our sinfulness, Jesus  took upon Himself  the wretchedness,  the shame, that we had brought upon ourselves.

In so doing, He, the Divine Messiah,  brought about  redemption, salvation, peace with God for our  human family ...His human family.   
Every moment of His life on earth  Jesus would have been aware of what it meant to share in the turmoil of our human family and to share in the tranquility of the Blessed Trinity.

To me it is no surprise that Jesus offered to His disciples a peace that the world could  not give them. And yet He  required  of them that they should deny themselves, take up their crosses daily and follow Him. By the Incarnation Jesus shares the fullness of our  humanity, by the grace of God we share something of His divinity.

For Jesus and for us a truly mysterious brew of enjoying the Peace of Jesus  that is 'out of this world' and carrying the  Crosses of Jesus that are very much part of this world! 

Peter Clarke, OP

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