The one whom we seek, the living God, has a face and a personhood. Jesus of Nazareth is not simply a godly man but God made man. Not simply someone who is so good, but the author of All Good. He is not just one great figure or hero of history, but He is the One who is the center of the cosmos, the source, the summit, the beginning, and the end of everything.
And yet, He entered into our human experience in everything, except of course, for that which would compromise our destiny. He didn’t embrace sin. But He embraced everything else. He embraced our weaknesses, our vulnerability. He embraced all of our limitations and fought against them. He fought against temptations.
He had to really fight to do what was right. It wasn’t always easy for Him. During the Agony, He said, ‘Father, please, please let this pass from me!’ That was His sacred humanity, but also, His perfect faith. Theologians describe it so profoundly – in His spirit, He knew not to allow the weakness of the humanity that He had temporarily assumed. In that moment of time, He didn’t allow human weakness to have the last word. His faith in the Father’s will had the last word.
There are times when we’re wrestling inside of ourselves; we can experience a conflict, a combat, a warfare within. We experience a warfare for our own welfare between the flesh and the spirit, between fulfilling our destiny in the Lord, and all the spiritual forces and wickedness that would want to interfere with that fulfillment in our life.
There are times when our human nature will resist, our human nature will be intimidated, will want to run away, will want to make excuses, and that resistance might always be there. That’s okay.
But the point is that our faith always prevails. Our faith allows our prayer to tap into the living God, to give us a supernatural grace that doesn’t come from ourselves; our faith allows us to tap into ourselves within the deepest part of our person, that we may find a potential of God’s power to prevail over the problems, and to overcome them in such a way that what was once over our head – can be placed beneath our feet.
What tried to defeat us becomes the source of new victory for us because of Him who is on our side and who fights the battles on our behalf. All He asks is that we have the faith to continue to say yes, to pick up our cross and to keep moving forward and not turn back. He does the rest. That means He ends us doing more in us, with us and through us, more than we were ever thought we were capable of, more than we ever thought was possible for our lives.
He ends up doing more in us, with us and through us, more than we were ever knew we could do because the power and strength is no longer ours. It’s Him doing the work. He can take over right when you least expect it. Right when you thought you have nothing left to give, He takes over. We’re not left to ourselves to do it all on our own. He is Emmanuel.
Let us immerse ourselves in the presence of Emmanuel through the holiness of God present in the Mass, which is the mission of Jesus brought back to life in the world, the mission of His mercy to embrace everything in Himself; His life, His death, His resurrection re-presented, presented again, brought back to life – that His life may become new and operative in each of us. May the Lord prepare us to celebrate the sacred mysteries of who God is and what God is doing in me, and in you, right here and right now, in Jesus’s name, Amen.
SOURCE: Danville Retreat, 2014. Copyright 2017, Fr. Robert Barcelos. All Rights Reserved