STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS

When we hear the word God, varied images come to mind. For some people, when we speak of God, the image that crosses their mind is an old man with a long white beard who is sitting on a chair. That is the grandfather God. For some people, when we speak of God, the image that comes to their mind is a man wearing golden robes, a crown on his head, a scepter on his hand. There are those, like the Europeans, who when we speak of God, are reminded of the paintings in the Vatican, especially the works of Michelangelo. The image of God to them is a muscular man, touching a human hand, creating the universe out of nothing that is the weight lifter, God.

We have varied images of God. All our images of God are those that depict Him as God of Power, God of Might and God of Strength. Today in the gospel, even the evil spirit called Jesus Christ by another title – the Holy One of God. What was the response of Jesus when He was addressed the Holy One, the Good One and the Great One? He said to the evil spirit, “Keep quiet” Why did the Lord tell the devil to keep quiet? For one reason. The Lord did not come here to display His power. He did not come to brag of His might of to tell everybody, “I am very holy and you are not.” He did not come here to parade His power, might and holiness. The Lord did not come here to take praise from us. The Lord came in our midst to participate in our pains. The Lord did not come here to be successful. The Lord became Jesus Christ to be faithful to the Father’s will. The Lord did not come here to get acclaimed. The Lord came here to be a nobody. He was born In Bethlehem. He was raised in Nazareth, a no-no town. If He wanted to be somebody, He should have grown up in Jerusalem. He opted to be a nobody, to give meaning and purpose to our nobodies. The Lord did not come here to take away our pains. The Lord came here to assume our pains. The Lord did not come here to be handsome. The Lord came here to assume the ugliness of our human suffering.

In the Eucharist, the Lord will come again to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Sacramental signs. I would like to call to mind one truth, that the Lord will come to us not in the appearance of a cake, deliciously sweet and irresistible. The Lord will come to us under the appearance of host – pure flour, no salt, sugar or baking powder added to it. Only water and flour. Simple. The Lord’s blood will be given to us not like champagne which is expensive. Not like brandy or whiskey. But the Lord will come to us under the appearance of simple wine.

While the Lord encourages us not to run away from pain, the Lord comes to us to embrace pain. The Lord comes to us to embrace our human weakness. Let us not be afraid of birth pains. Let us not be afraid to be weak. Let us not be afraid to get sick. In our sickness, our weakness, our powerlessness, the power of God shines forth through us even more.

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS
Lk 4.33-35
Jesus In My Heart

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