Sunday, June 30, 2013

"The Son of Man has nowhere on earth to lay His head": poverty and self-denial open the way to sacredness in Christ

In today's Gospel for holy Mass the Lord describes His earthly life of poverty: "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

Christ does not find here on earth a lasting city and urges us by His example and the gift of grace to imitate Him.  He also, by choosing a life of preaching and teaching in order to seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel, must always depend upon the kindness of strangers, of whatever Providence His heavenly Father gives through the goodness of creatures.  In these two ways then He makes clear what is necessary for those who will cooperate with Him in His mission to save souls through the preaching and teaching of the Kingdom of God.

He instructs us that if we would have Him and His holiness which brings us to heaven, then we must invite those He sends, our bishop and priests, without shame into whatever kind of poverty afflicts us, into all the circumstances of our lives.  This includes, of course, exposing before His all-seeing gaze the greatest poverty: the absence of God.  What makes God most absent in our lives is sin.

Our priests are sent to us by the bishops, Christ for us today, into all the circumstances of our lives, into whatever poverties from which we suffer, in order to give us the wealth of God.  God comes first into our poverty of sinfulness through mercy, in particular through the absolution from the condemnation of sin and death in the sacrament of Confession.  Then God makes us one with Him through the Body and Blood of His Son, the greatest treasure on earth.

Christ has nowhere to lay His head until we are willing to invite Him into the poverty of our lives. We do this, so that the holiness of Christ is ours, every time we welcome His priests into our midst, to relieve us of the poverty of sin through absolution in Confession and bestowing the gift of grace in His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

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