Thursday, February 25, 2016


Though in the form of God, Jesus did not claim equality with God but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, human like one of us.  Flesh and blood, he humbled himself, obeying to the death, death on a cross.  For this very reason God lifted him high and gave him the name above all names. So at the name of Jesus every knee will bend in heaven, on earth, and in the world below and every tongue exclaim to the glory of God the Father, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”  Phil 2:6-11

          Here we are in the Second Week of Lent celebrating the Incarnation of Jesus.  At Christmas we pondered his wondrous birth.  We remembered his adolescent self-assured remark of “being about my Father’s business,” and then having to go home to be obedient to his parents and learning a trade.  We gather he lost his father Joseph and worked to support his mother before striking out on his own.  A pretty ordinary life until he starts doing miracles (his first at his mother’s instigation) and speaking out in the synagogues and lakesides about the Kingdom.  But when the crowds become crushing his family thinks he has lost his mind, he’s gone too far.   

Too far? Blessed Celeste tells us the God-Man lives in me and you!  Christ comes to live in us “for the precise purpose of letting Jesus be again a Wayfarer-Redeemer in us by our ever deepening participation-union with God by letting Christ live again in us as a viva memoria.” 1   Celeste uses words such as humiliations, abnegation, annihilation, modifications to describe what the God-Man endured for our sake to become human like one of us.  How is that for lowering God’s-self? And we are called to do the same.

That doesn’t sound like something we would want to assume for ourselves.   But for Celeste these are positive terms because they mean a purity of intention, our opportunity to become transformed by “seeing ourselves for what we really are in the light of the divine within us.” 2   That is our call: to join in Jesus’ kenosis, self-emptying, to “strip ourselves of our humanity in order to take on a share in the divine being of Christ and His Father through the Spirit.” 3 To be filled with the transforming power of the Spirit: to become deified.  

Celeste said, “How can I ever thank you for these marvelous humiliations while you invite me to keep you company and in your mercy you deign to gaze on me with your divine light.” 4   For our part, we are to fix our gaze on the Redeemer not only for own salvation but so as to be a light for the Church and the world.  
1-4 Opptiz ~ Mystic who Remembered