Thought of the Day March 4, 2019 Jesus in his humanity

By 9:43 AM

Jesus, the God-Man, the Word made Flesh, most perfectly models for us how to comply with the revelation from God, “My grace is sufficient.”  He experiences the signs of the Father’s love and the distractions from the Evil One.  His initial public high comes after being baptized in the Jordan by John.  We read in Luke’ gospel narrative: “When all the people were baptized, and Jesus was at prayer after likewise being baptized, the skies opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in visible form like a dove. A voice from heaven was heard to say: “You are my beloved Son. On you my favor rests.” (Lk 3:21-22) Forty days later the Evil One tempts Jesus to self-sufficiency, to self-satisfaction, and to self-empowerment.  The Spirit leading Jesus reminded him not to focus on self but on the Other, the Thou in the I-Thou relationship with the Father and the Spirit. “My grace is sufficient.” With this, the gauntlet was  thrown down by Jesus. Lk tells us: “When the devil had finished all the tempting he left (Jesus) to await another opportunity.” (Lk 4:13)

These opportunities were many in Jesus’ three years of public ministry.  While the crowds acclaimed him because of the signs and wonders done at his simple word of command, the leaders tried to discredit him through a variety of intricate traps. When they couldn’t succeed, they plotted to kill him.  While town after town welcomed him with genuine expectation, his own community and extended family in Nazareth categorically rejected him.  While Peter, through the grace of the Father, proclaimed him Messiah, the same Apostle attempted to dissuade Jesus from the road to the cross and resurrection.  While Jesus experienced the glory of transfiguration, he had to embrace the ignominy of death as a criminal on the cross  and the apparent abandonment by the Father. “My grace is sufficient” was not just pious words but the conviction upon which he based his “obedient yes” to the Father. (To be continued)

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