The title of my reflection today sounds a bit heretical but is totally true. What I mean by it is that one person of the human race is God, namely Jesus our Savior. We celebrate today the Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple and so begins the ritual life of a man who is also God. Jesus did not choose to stand apart from the normal requirements of Jewish ritual life. In one sense He was quite entitled to, being the Son of God, however, what we see in his participation in these Jewish rituals is a statement of solidarity whereby Jesus affirms His oneness with the human race. This is important as later theology in reflection upon what Jesus did for us in terms of salvation will assert the absolute importance of this ability to identify with the human race and its condition in order for salvation to be efficacious. Let us reflect upon this a little more deeply.
Today we often hear the Bishops talking about the need for the Church to become the Church of the Poor. This does not mean that everyone in the Church has to become poor but that we ALL have to learn to stand in solidarity with those who are poor and thus learn anew and afresh to entrust our lives into the hands of God. This is what we mean when we talk about ‘solidarity with the poor.’ Similarly, Jesus does not have to become a sinner to stand in solidarity with the human race – however, He does have to experience our condition. This experience or better, solidarity, is perhaps most poignantly expressed in his life at the time before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane and when He cries out from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me.” It is this anguish that expresses the ‘lostness’ of the present human condition without salvation. In a certain sense we cannot identify with the absolute state of that ‘lostness’ as we live in a post resurrection era where the offer of salvation is always there for us if we want to take it up.
One of the great challenges we face is how to integrate the knowledge of Christ’s solidarity with us into our daily lives. How should this effect the way that we live on a day to day basis? What does it mean for the choices we make every day? Saints down through the ages have shown us many ways in which we can keep our eyes upon the promise of eternal life and still be fully engaged in the necessary aspects of our earthly pilgrimage. Let us seek to imitate them.
Lord Jesus, help me to navigate the narrow road that leads to you and eternal life. Keep me focused upon your call, yet also mindful of the need to be available to minister to those around me.