Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
The humanity of Christ
After this, Jesus moved about within Galilee; but he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near. But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but (as it were) in secret. So some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Messiah? But we know where he is from. When the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come. Jn 7,1-2.10.25-30
In the Palestine of Jesus the great feast of the Tabernacles, which is the commemoration of the march of the Jewish people in the desert when they were forced to assemble and disassemble the tents every day, was under celebration. To this feast, which Israel considers the one of the temporariness, Jesus participates almost “in secret”. However, he was noticed while speaking “freely” of the things of God, giving rise to a dualism in those who hear him: on the one hand they are admired for what he says and on the other hand they cannot accept that his divine wisdom dwells in a man, in flesh and bones, of whom everything is known, even those who are his parents. It is not easy to accept that the strategy of the saving steps of God goes through the obscurity and the humility of Jesus, who entirely refuses the ostentation. We are at the heart of the mystery of the Incarnation: also today it is hard to recognize the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, appeared in the guise of a man, but it is what we are asked to do, because this is the way which God has chosen to present himself to the humanity. Even our daily prayers cannot pass through other than the person of Jesus Christ, because he is the “manifestation” of the Father, the “way” which leads to him and the “divine Spirit” which he came to awake in the man. St. Teresa of Avila states: “I have always recognized and continue to see clearly that we cannot please God and receive from him great graces, if not by the hands of the very holy humanity of Christ, in which he said he was pleased”. The truths which Jesus Christ revealed to us receive light if passing through his humanity because he is the perfect embodiment of them. Only by accepting this mystery we can understand the sanctity of the church, although concealed by its poverty, not excluding the sin. Help us, Lord, to recognize the mystery of your incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth.