LENTEN REFLECTION – 3 MARCH
Emptied for Our Sake
By Bernard of Clairvaux
Christ’s self-emptying was neither a simple gesture nor a limited one. He emptied Himself even to the assuming of human nature, even to accepting death, death on a cross (Philippians 2:7).
Who is there that can adequately gauge the greatness of the humility, gentleness and self-surrender, revealed by the Lord of majesty in assuming human nature, in accepting the punishment of death, the shame of the cross?
But somebody will say: “Surely the Creator could have restored His original plan without all that hardship?” Yes, He could but He chose the way of personal suffering so that man would never again have reason to display that worst and most hateful of all vices, ingratitude.
Even if God made you out of nothing, you have not been redeemed out of nothing. In six days He created all things and among them, you. On the other hand, for a period of thirty whole years He worked your salvation in the midst of the earth.
What He endured in those labours! To His bodily needs and the abuses from His enemies did He not add the mightier burden of the humiliation of the cross and crown it all with the horror of His death? And this was indeed necessary. Man and beast you save, 0 Lord (Psalm 36:6). How you have multiplied your mercy, 0 God!