domingo, 6 de julio de 2014

The Anthem of Exultation

In the reading from the prophet Zechariah, we have a God who comes to us to manifest his power of salvation.  His presence is humble, is mounted on an ass. This text is very different from others of the Old Testament where God appears as a warrior that destroys their enemies. Verse 9 is quoted by the evangelists Matthew and John on the reception the people made to the Christ in Jerusalem at the end of his public life.  Jesus represents a peaceful God who brings peace to the men.    

Paul confesses something that corresponds to our experience and also the experience of all men: seeing the tendency to evil in oneself and perceiving it as insurmountable, leading to the anguish of despair. The positive part of that desperation is leading to delivery to Christ, the only one in which evil can be overcome. When you live in Christ the Spirit becomes: first, your liberator, second, your guide. The life in Christ and in his Spirit is opposite to the fleshly interests.

Matthew fragment is what has been called the "anthem of exultation". Christ rejoices with joy because the Father is revealed to small and ignorant. Christ does not praise the ignorance itself, but He praises humility and availability of the ignorant to welcome the gift of God. The wise are often self-sufficient, as the rich, and this is why they are opponents so often to the gift of God. If Christ speaks thus it is because He had to have some negative experience with this type of people.  In this text we have a demonstration, at least partial, of the "Trinity", when Christ speaks of the Father and the Son who live communion and mutual knowledge. This should be joined to the union of Christ with the Spirit that is shown in the fragment of the Epistle to the Romans which we have read. The Father, Christ, and the Spirit act together in the salvation of men.    

The final part is very comforting, when Christ invites us to trust him, to follow him, to imitate him, and announces us relief, joy and tenderness. Some devotions that have occurred in different branches of Christianity, may be based on this text as, within Roman Catholicism, that of the Heart of Jesus, or, within Orthodoxy, the invocation to Christ as merciful Son of God. "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, poor sinner." When we love to Christ, we are increasingly linked to Him and we seem increasingly to Him. In this sense, I really like this prayer: "Lord, make my heart like yours."

Author: Javier Moreno