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God Made Vulnerable

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God Made Vulnerable

Could Mary really have said no?’ I was asked recently.  Yes, it’s possible.  Even at the annunciation, when the whole of salvation history hung on Mary’s response, God did not force his hand but instead put himself in a very vulnerable position and allowed – as always – his creature to exercise her free will.

 

God loved the world so much that he gave his only son...’  Love by its very nature makes the lover vulnerable, as love is all about selfless giving.  In the incarnation, God makes himself incredibly vulnerable.  Pope Benedict reflected on this during his homily at Midnight Mass:

‘Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me.’

Throughout his life on earth, Jesus continued to place himself in the hands of others: as a child in the family of Mary and Joseph; as a candidate for baptism, as a guest in so many homes, as a passenger aboard ship, as a silent prisoner condemned to death and as a body taken down from the cross and buried.

And now… having taken on the flesh of a vulnerable little baby lying in a manger, Jesus becomes even more vulnerable, and gives us his own flesh to eat in the form of bread in the Eucharist.  Jesus does not make himself present in the Eucharist ‘if and only if the priest is holy enough’ or ‘if and only if the communicant is holy enough’ or whatever kind of ‘ifs’ you like.  No.  He – the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – is made present in the Eucharist during each and every Mass.  Jesus entrusts himself to us through the gift of the Eucharist.  Let us not betray that trust but answer with an open heart and mind, ‘You are welcome, my Lord and my God.  Remain in me, abide in me always, that I may in you abide.’

 

 

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