Continued from yesterday...
Chapter 4. God's Great4est Proof of Love
God, as St. Paul tells us, has poured out all the treasures of His infinite love for us in the mystery of the Incarnation. "What could I do for My vineyard that I have not done." Even God could do no more, could give no greater, no clearer, no proof of love more manifest than by becoming man for us.
He, the Omnipotent Creator, the God Whom the Angels adore in Heaven, became a little babe, passed nine months in His Mother's womb, was born in a stable between two animals, lived for 30 years a hidden life, poor, humble and despised.
This was followed by three years of public life in which He did all that God could do to win our love.
Finally, He suffered a most ignominious and cruel death. Yet all these Divine efforts to make us love Him are nullified by our incredible lack of appreciation.
Let us try to repair this hateful ingratitude by carefully pondering on the touching events in Our Lord's life. Let us try to rouse ourselves from this fatal lethargy, this insane want of appreciation of God's mercies and love.
We cannot say in truth that we have not seen God, for He became man expressly to show Himself to us. He remained on Earth 33 years that we might know Him as He is, that we might see for ourselves His infinite goodness, sweetness and love and thus be drawn and compelled to love Him in return. We are in one way more privileged than the Angels themselves, for God never became an Angel, He never took the Angelic Nature, He never raised it up to the dignity of the Godhead, as He did our human nature.
He remained on Earth 33 years, and His life can be summarized in these few words: "He went about doing good to all." He consoled the sorrowful and cured the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf and the dumb. He cleansed the poor lepers and brought them back to their homes, from which they had been driven. He raised the dead to life. What a story of love!
The multitudes thronged around Him, gazing on His Divine Face in raptures of joy, listening spell-bound to His words. One poor woman, speaking for all, cried out: "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee and the breasts that gave Thee suck!"
What an outburst of admiration! With good reason God's priests repeat every day in their Divine Office these beautiful words.
The crowds followed Him for long hours, even for entire days at a time, listening to Him, loving Him, charmed by His unceasing proofs of love and pity.
Seeing a poor widow weeping bitterly over her dead son, He was filled with pity and raised the boy to life and gave him back to his sorrowing mother.
He assisted at a wedding feast, and when the wine went short, He worked His first miracle and turned water into wine, lest the young couple might suffer shame!
How tenderly He showed His love for Peter, asking him three times, "Lovest thou me more than these? . . . Lovest thou me?" (Jn. 21:15, 16, 17).
At the Last Supper He allowed John to recline his head on His Divine Bosom. What ineffable love! John never did anything that pleased Jesus so much. What, indeed, could be more affectionate, more tender!
He loved to visit Martha and Mary in their home at Bethania, and when their brother Lazarus died, He, the Son of God, wept over His dear friend. Seeing the sorrow of Martha and Magdalen, He raised their brother to life, though he had been dead for four days.
All His life was one long series of these wonderful proofs of affection and love. The more we read the wonderful story of Jesus, the more we must love Him. We read stories of great men, of heroes, of heroines of charity and feel thrilled at what they have done, wishing only that we could do likewise.
What romance, what human story recounts the touching incidents that we meet with in every page of the Gospels.
Why do we not read every day these divinely inspired pages. Why not meditate on the countless proofs of love our sweet Lord has given us? Though we do not live in the time of Christ, though we do not look on His Divine countenance, we have the fullest, clearest chronicle of all He said and did.
If we only read these pages, we will not complain that we do not see our Dear Lord....
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949