Grace to you!
Many times, we describe our brokenness in terms of being down. Downcast, down to the dregs, frustrated because of consistent falls—all represent low moments in our lives. Those times we weren’t able to courageously look up, upon the Holy Face of the Son of Righteousness, or feel shoulder high about our condition. Not being the best we want to be, not finding the joy and living in glory, stirs within us a sense of need.
Many times Israel was down. Her story as God’s chosen, narrated in the Old Testament, is typical of human frailty. Severally, the story of their greatness was swallowed by a series of falls and brokenness. They represented the true human nature, the nature in need of the Messiah.
God spoke to them, as God speaks to us, “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:6) This prophecy points, not simply to Israel as a people, but the singular excellence of Israel, the Messiah, the Christ, through whom and in whom God’s glory is revealed to all.
Meeting Jesus at the River Jordan, John the Baptist witnessed, firsthand, divine endorsement of the Christ. By the way, Jordan is a name that means, “the one who descends” from the Hebrew verb yarad (יָרַד) meaning “to come or go down.” It wouldn’t have been more providential that John, the last of the Old Testament prophets and the forerunner of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will stand by the River Jordan to witness God descend in the form of a dove and speak the word pointing to the Son, the Messiah.
It couldn’t have been better that the next day, John will invite the people to look to the Savior for their salvation: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Those who are down, who have gone completely down, are lifted up by the one who descends and who comes to meet us. He descends so we can ascend with him. The Lamb of God, a typology of which is the Passover Lamb in the Book of Exodus, is the Lord Jesus Christ. He comes for us, those down and broken, so we can share in his glory.
The frustrations that follow our constant falls have an answer in him who is our righteousness and glory, Christ the Lord. Saint Paul says our holiness is in him, for we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (I Cor 1:2).
Christ is here, meeting us at every Eucharistic celebration and during every public worship, saying to us, “My child, I am here.” Actually, every Sunday, there is a special convocation of the heavens and the earth in a little roofed or unroofed house called church. There, Christ is waiting for us so we can be fed, nourished and renewed. I can’t wait to sit at the table with him.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.