One of the most central doctrines of the Catholic Faith is the Incarnation, the event in which God became man, and while I intellectually recognize this fact, I often skip over this teaching as if it is simply another piece of information I am consuming throughout my day. It is easy for me to skip over the significance of such a teaching because of my studies in theology. “Yes, of course God became man - that’s what our entire Faith is about!” Yet, when I pause to reflect on this teaching, I become flabbergasted at such a profound and desperate action on the part of God. Though God is Divine, simple, outside of time, and perfect, he willed to enter into our humanity, live a complex life in time, and take on the effects of sin without sinning Himself. Through the life of Jesus Christ, God became one with us in all of our suffering even though he did not merit any of the suffering.
In the early days of Christianity, this Truth baffled many pagan philosophers. It was not logical for the Divine to dirty itself with the human. In their view of the universe, there was an unbreachable barrier between the gods and humanity. Yet, it was not only logically impossible in their worldview but also made no practical sense. Why would a god give up his eternal, perfect life to suffer like the rest of humanity? Here’s the Christian answer: God became man to free us from our sins and invite us into His very own Divine, Trinitarian Life. God took on our own suffering and exchanged it for eternal blessing. And this is significant because it means that every single moment of suffering and sin can be redeemed if we offer it up to Jesus Christ. We are never alone in any instant of suffering or struggle for Christ took it on in His own life, which is why every saint finds joy in suffering for it has become the very portal by which we enter into Divine Life. We only need to accept this gift of eternal blessing from Christ and offer up every instant of suffering to the One who already took it all upon the Cross. May we receive the grace to trust in God’s Goodness through every moment of struggle and pain. Amen.
This 18th day of October of the Year of St. Joseph 2021
Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist
“Mary Consoles Eve”
Sr. Grace Remington
Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey