Grace to you!
Many times, we describe our brokenness in terms of being down. Downcast. Down to the dregs or frustrated because of consistent falls. All these depict low moments in our lives. Those times we weren't able to courageously look up to the Holy Face of the Son of Righteousness or feel shoulder-high above our condition. Not being the best we want to be, not finding 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. At some points, a series of falls and brokenness tended to swallow the story of their greatness. 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" (Is 43:6). This prophecy points, not just to Israel as a people, but the singular excellence of Israel, the Messiah, the Christ. God reveals his glory to all in and through Christ. Christ is the glory of God, as Saint Paul writes, the “image of the unseen God" (Col 1:15).
Meeting Jesus Christ 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's providential, then, that John the Baptist will stand by the River Jordan to witness God descend in the form of a dove. The Baptist saw. He heard God the Father speak endorsing Jesus as the Son in whom He was well pleased. He heard God speak. God gave him the sign earlier, and he saw it and believed.
It couldn't have been better than 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)
The one, Jesus, who descended and rose, lifts those who are drowning or who have gone completely down. The Lord 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 that 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 in an extraordinary way at every Eucharistic celebration and during every public worship. He is saying to us, "My child, I am here." Every Sunday, there is a unique gathering 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.
I pray for the grace of a more profound encounter with the Lord among his people. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Sunday Week 2, Year A: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; I Corinthian 1:1-3; John 1:29-34]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.