The Humility of Christ

The Humility of Christ

The act of remembering is at the center of this month in the Catholic Church. As we celebrate Easter, we recall the life of Jesus and know he is present among us.

The month begins with Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The crowds who were following Jesus had just seen a blind man healed. Perhaps they were expecting additional miracles to occur along the way as well. But Jesus was entirely focused on his entry into the city. This was a scene of tremendous excitement as followers threw down their cloaks and palm branches to cover his path. Jesus was likely immersed in the crowd as the chanting and cheering surrounded him. As moving as the cries of “Hosanna!” are, they are also heartbreaking when we consider that Jesus will soon ask his Father to save him from the same crowd.

In John’s Passion narrative, Jesus is fully aware and in charge of his destiny as he walks toward the fate that awaits him on Calvary. We see elements of that intentionality as he purposefully washes the apostles’ feet. He knows that Judas has given in to the lure of betrayal, and yet his love for his disciples overflows. He chooses to undertake a task assigned to the lowliest of servants. This humiliating task foreshadows the even more humiliating death Jesus will willingly suffer. Jesus is showing his closest friends not just the need to care for one another through humble service, but also the need to lay down their lives for another in the same way he will when he dies on the cross.

These stories, of course, lead to that silent Sunday morning when the early light of dawn shone into an empty tomb. The God of astonishment saved his best revelation for last: a man has risen from the dead.

Three tired and frightened women journeyed to the tomb that morning. It was early, and the air was still heavy with fear and sorrow. They are going to anoint Jesus’s body with spices and on the way, they discussed who would remove the heavy stone that blocks the entrance to the tomb. But when they arrive, they see the stone has already been rolled back. The angel in the tomb tells them “Do not be afraid!” but to “Go and tell…”

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

– Matthew 28:10

Scholars tell us that this Gospel’s original ending was that the women were terrified and said nothing to anyone. Ponder that for a moment—how many of us, given the shock of the first Easter morning, could understand so quickly and be ready to sing “Alleluia?” For believers like us who already know the glory of the resurrection, this ending asks us to imagine the emptiness, shock, and confusion and to think about the event in a different way. Then we can sing “Alleluia” even more truly.

From all of us here at Mercy Home, we wish you and your loved ones a very blessed Easter, for Christ has risen. Alleluia!

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