The preacher of the Pontifical Family, Cardinal Ranieri Cantalamessa, on Friday shared his third Advent shadow with Pope Francis and his closest colleagues. This week, he talked about the need to discover the word incarnate in the world’s poverty and suffering, which is God’s humility.
With Vatican News
God is love and therefore humility. Christmas is the feast of God’s humility because God humbled Himself and made His dwelling among us, taking upon Himself the poor, humble and suffering of the world. To celebrate Christmas in spirit and in truth, humility is needed to acknowledge God who, by making his abode among us, took upon himself the poor, the humble and the suffering.
This was the heart of the sermon delivered by Papal Family preacher Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa to Pope Francis and his close colleagues on Friday morning, in the third week of Advent.
The subject of the card’s reflection was “He made his abode among us”, noting that, with disrespect, an unchangeable act had been accomplished. The Son of Man came down to earth and God cannot die. Emmanuel, or “God is with us”, is on the side of man, as a friend and ally against the forces of evil.
Lack of humility is a barrier to believing in obedience
The perfect union between divinity and humanity in the person of Christ was one of the greatest possible myths, Cardinal Cantalamessa pointed out. However, some could not accept the paradoxes and scandals of the Word making its abode among us, for according to them God never mixes with man.
The obstacle to believing in disrespect is a lack of humility. The St. Augustine acknowledges this when he says, “failing to be humble, I could not understand the humiliation of God Himself”. This, said Cardinal Cantalamessa, is at the heart of today’s atheism.
The humility of God
The Pope’s preacher said it doesn’t take much power to show but it does take a lot more power to step in and execute. And this is what God does in His infinite power for self-fulfillment. He emptied himself, in the form of a slave and humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
So the two claims ‘God is love’ and ‘God of humility’ are like two sides of the same coin. It’s about making yourself a little out of love, to let others show up. In that sense, only God is truly humble.
The heart of the mystery of obedience, in which the Word becomes flesh and dwelleth among us, means that God is with us for good, which cannot be changed.
The poverty of the church
When John the Baptist preached about Jesus, as “a man among you whom you do not know”, it was hard for people to believe that the long-anticipated Messiah could be such a humble and ordinary man, about we know everything, his city included. .
The obstacle at Baptism was the bodily body of Jesus, which was like us, except for sin. Today, the high cardinals said, the main obstacle is his mythical body, the Church, which, like the rest of mankind, embraces sin. Today, God must also be recognized in the poverty and misery of his church and in the poverty and misery of our own lives. This sheds particular light on the current issue of poverty and how the Christian deals with it.
“Sacrament of Poverty”
In this regard, the papal preacher drew attention to an opinion from Jean Guitton, the non-clerical observer of the Second Vatican Council. He wrote, “The Fathers of the Council have rediscovered the sacrament of poverty, that is, the presence of Christ under the guise of the sufferer.”
Jesus established the Thanksgiving when He said, ‘This is my body’. Similarly, the superintendents, he also instituted this sign, this ‘sacrament’ of poverty, taking upon himself the poor, the humble and the suffering when he said, “Whatever did you for one of the least of those brothers and sisters to me, you did for me. ”
The concept of the ‘Church of the Poor’ developed by St. John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council, explained by the cardinal, does not include only the poor within the Church themselves but in a special sense, the poor of the whole world whether they are baptized or not.
Just as there was no place for Mary and Joseph in the inn, so today there is no place for the poor in the inn. However, history has shown which side God is and what the Church should be. Going to the poor is an imitation of God’s humility. He makes the little ones themselves out of love, to build the ones below.