Posted by: fvbcdm | March 10, 2015

Feast of Saint Macarius (10 March 2015)

We are told in the sacred liturgy that Jesus is like us in all things but sin. Two of the most common phenomena of the human condition are loneliness and fear.

Now, let us think of Our Divine Lord during those forty days that he spent in the desert just after his baptism and in preparation for his public life. Up until about his thirtieth year, Our Lord had lived in the little bit of heaven on earth that we call the Holy Family, in their modest little home in Nazareth. His life was so ordinary; he fit in so totally into the society of a small village in the remote area called Galilee that his townspeople were amazed when he began his public life and showed indications of wisdom far beyond his years and his social and educational background.

Now, he goes out into the desert to pray and fast in preparation for his ministry. No longer would he know the loving, deeply holy, and happy atmosphere of life with his blessed mother and Saint Joseph. Now he must relate and deal with great crowds of people. And whenever you deal with lots of people, there are problems. People can be malicious and hostile; others are merely superficial and uninterested in important things; others are selfish and concerned only with their own interests and ambitions. And others are good, well-meaning, and sincere. Our Lord had to deal with all of them just as we do. People’s reactions to him ran the gamut from deep devotion and love like that of Saint John the Beloved Apostle and Saint Mary Magdalen to the enormous evil of those who accused him of being possessed by demons, and then of one of his own twelve apostles who betrayed him for money.

I imagine that during those days in the desert — an austere, inhospitable, unforgiving place — he must have thought ahead to his dealings with those people, and especially to the awful passion and death that he would undergo for us. For you and for me. Jesus did not need to suffer or die for himself. He underwent all of that for you and for me. We must be grateful. We must try to allow the contemplation of Our Lord’s life, and especially his sufferings which prove his love for us, to move us to love him in return. Surely one of the Lord’s keenest sufferings was that of knowing that for some people, his sufferings and death would be of no avail because they would reject his graces. We do not want that to happen in our case. Every time we see a crucifix, we should think of him saying to us: “I have loved you this much. Now, will you not love me in return?” Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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