“Carving our lives in humility in imitation of our Blessed Lord!”
(Based on Jas 3:13-18 and and Mk 9:30-37)
There is a story of a tourist who visited a particular church.
He was quite surprised to see the figure of a lamb, that had been carved near the top of the church’s tower.
On enquiring, he came to know the reason…
He was told that when the church was being built, a workman fell from a high scaffold.
His co-workers, in fear and despair, rushed down, probably expecting that their companion might have died.
But to their pleasant surprise, they found him alive, with just some minor injuries.
How did the workman survive that steep fall?
A flock of sheep was passing at that time, beneath the scaffold of the tower.
The worker, fell on the top of one of the lambs!
The lamb was crushed to death, but the man was saved!
To celebrate this miraculous escape, a carved lamb was placed on the tower at the exact height from which the workman fell!
It is not confirmed if this story is true or a legend; but one thing is for sure and certain: we need the Lamb for our survival – the Lamb of God!
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus, the Lamb of God predicting His passion and death…
… and drives home the message of the necessity of being clothed with humility and innocence, in order to achieve true greatness in life.
Jesus had a very specific purpose in coming to the world – the salvation of all.
The path chosen to realise this salvific act was the path of suffering and death, leading to glory.
Jesus was always clear in what He wanted and the aims of His Life.
And so very plainly, He forewarns His disciples, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He is killed, He will rise after three days” (Mk 9: 31)
Unlike some popular preachings, Jesus preached to the world…
…. not ordinariness or littleness; rather a “Gospel of Greatness”
…. not being satisfied with the minimum or with the least efforts; rather a “Gospel of the Maximum.”
But His understanding of “Being Great” and His way of “achieving the maximum” was unlike how the world thought.
The world views greatness in being powerful with power, wrapped in wealth, possessing positions and clothed in vain glory
The world views achieving maximum in life by means of exploitation, dishonesty, cheating and trickery
That’s the way also the disciples of Jesus thought, when they were quarrelling on the way, as to “who was the greatest” (Mk 9: 34)
But Jesus defines a “new” way of being great…
… by being little
… by being humble
… and by lowering oneself
And so He says, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be last of all and the servant of all” (Mk 9: 35)
He preaches the “Gospel of Greatness” – being great in the sight of God, by doing His will and following His commandments
He preaches the “Gospel of Maximum” – achieving one’s maximum by depending and trusting in the power of God at all times
In tune with His preaching, Jesus lived a life of immense humility, daring innocence and bold holiness!
He was the mighty Lion of Judah…..but He humbled Himself to become the Lamb of God!
Clothed in mighty glory and rapturous splendour, He emptied Himself to live a life of sacrifice, gentleness and surrender to God’s Will!
This is true greatness: the higher that one wishes to become, the lower must one humble, to allow the grace of God to fill one’s life!
The Lord wishes that we all become “great” in life…
… but “great” in the proper sense of the term.
The Lord desires that we all achieve the “maximum” in life..
… but “maximum” in the true sense of the term.
St James reminds us that we ought to move away from worldly ways and embrace a life of humility:
“Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God.
Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you!” (Jas 4:4,10)
May we cherish and follow the example of our Blessed Lord in leading a life of humility and scaling the heights of true ‘greatness’ and achieving the ‘maximum’ in life.
Jesus, the Lamb of God – by His sacrificial love and total surrender has given us life and salvation, at the cost of His own life.
Shall we not reciprocate and commemorate this tremendous sacrifice, by “carving” our lives, in the image of “this Lamb” – being humble, committed to our cause and trusting fully in the power of God?
God Bless! Live Jesus!