Today was the second and final day of the Trinity Institute conference. I’m still processing all that I heard and saw, and my brain is too tired to write about it tonight. But I’ve been thinking about something Sister Teresa Okure said, that we must remember that the gospel was not for God, but “for us”. “For us Jesus came, for us he became human, for us he died. For us.” That has connected in my mind with a passage by Monsignor Romano Guardini, and I’ll leave that with you tonight.
Have we ever thought about the truly divine courage of Christ? Have we understood the bravery that fired the heart of Jesus, when He, who came from the presence – St. John says “from the bosom” – of the Father, stepped into this earthly world? Into all the falsehood, the murderous cruelty, the painful narrowness of our existence? And he did this, not protected by the pride of the philosopher or secured by the tactics of the politician, not willing to repay guile with guile and blow with blow, but in the vulnerability of perfect purity.
Let us consider how we act amid the dangers of this world, how energetically we protect ourselves by all manner of means. Jesus never protected himself, but He accepted everything that the violence and unscrupulousness of men inflicted upon Him. We do not take the world as it is, but choose from it what pleases us. He accepted what the course of events brought upon Him, for this was the will of the Father. We know how to conform, to evade, and to seek advantages. His nature was such, and He spoke and acted in such a manner that what was most evil in men was challenged; that, as we read in Luke’s Gospel, “the thoughts,” the hidden disposition, “in the hearts of many were revealed” (Luke 2:35). He truly lived in the conditions of the world and endured them. The hour of Gethsemane lets us surmise what that meant. If we try to fathom all this, we may well shudder before what we can call the courage of God in Christ.
And He dared to live this life not in order to accomplish something of earthly grandeur, glorious heroism, or a noble work of art, but as a “redemption” for our sake. He lived so that we might gain the courage to be “Christians” in the world in which He was “Christ.”