by Clemens Pater
He didn’t have to do it. God did not have to leave His eternal glory in heaven to enter into time; to leave the perfect Communion of the Most Holy Trinity to be part of a human family - even a Holy Family.
He did not have to be born into human frailty - poor, weak and dependent, subject to hunger and thirst, cold and heat.
He was not required - as God - to suffer the ignorance and pride of men; to be hunted by Herod.
God did not have to live in a land under oppression from Rome. It would not have been necessary for Him to wait and prepare for 30 years to share the Truth.
How extraordinary that He allowed Himself to be subjected to the devil’s temptations. That He would fast; that He who was God Himself, would pray.
He had no place to lay His head. (Luke 9:58) He accepted the misunderstanding of humanity; rejection from people whom He helped.
God endured human judgment, physical torture, the desertion of friends, humiliation and mockery, crucifixion and death. He was buried.
He spent forty days after His Resurrection reassuring the disciples, most all of whom had abandoned Him and denied that they knew Him.
He promised the Gift of the Holy Spirit to enliven the Church - and gave the Seven Sacraments as an efficacious pledge of His enduring and salvific Presence.
God didn’t have to do any of this.
But maybe He did. Maybe, in order to be true to His Divine Nature, He was compelled to do this ‘work.’
For His name is Love; He is that Goodness which is diffusive of Itself.
Because He so loved the world. .. He could not ‘not do’ this. This is who God is. This is what God did.
And so we are that much more compelled to hear and believe the words of St John’s Epistle:
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son … “
(1 John 4:10)
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American Folk Hymn
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
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