Thursday, April 14, 2022

Jesus Entered Into Solidarity With Us All

Here is a selection from the homilies of Saint John Paul II that I am reading, that marks the foundation of the events we remember and celebrate in the nights and days ahead:

“Jesus worked in the spirit of a great love for every human person, on the basis of the profound solidarity which he had for those created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:27; 5:1).

“What is this solidarity? It is the manifestation of the love which has its source in God himself. The Son of God came into the world to reveal this love. He already revealed it by the fact that he himself became man, one of us. This union with us on the part of Jesus Christ, true man, is the fundamental expression of his solidarity with every human person. It speaks eloquently of the love with which God himself has loved each and every person. Love is confirmed here in an entirely special way: one who loves seeks to share everything with the beloved. It is precisely for this reason that the Son of God became man. Isaiah had prophesied of him, ‘Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured’ (cf. Mi 8:17; Is 53:4). Jesus thus shared the same existential condition with every son and daughter of the human race. In this he also revealed the existential dignity of each and every human person. The Incarnation is an ineffable ‘re-evaluation’ of the human person and of humanity!

“This ‘love-solidarity’ stands out in the entire earthly life and mission of the Son of Man, especially in regard to those who suffer under the weight of misery, whether physical or moral. At the end of his journey there will be the ‘giving of m life as a ransom for many’ (cf. Mk 10:45), the redemptive sacrifice of the cross. However, on the way leading to this supreme sacrifice, Jesus' entire earthly life manifested his solidarity with mankind. He summed this up in his own words: ‘The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mk 10:45).  

“He was a child like every human child.  He worked with his hands by him alongside Joseph of Nazareth, just as all people work. He was a son of Israel; he shared in the culture, tradition, hope and suffering of his people. He, too, experienced what often happens in the life of those called to some mission: misunderstanding and betrayal by one of those whom he himself had chosen as his apostles to continue his work. For this he experienced a profound sorrow (cf. Jn 13:21).

“When the moment drew near in which he was ‘to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mt 20:28), Jesus voluntarily offered himself (cf. Jn 10:18), thus consummating the mystery of his solidarity in the sacrifice.  The Roman governor found no other words to describe him before his assembled accusers except ‘Behold the man!’ (Jn 19:5).

“Pilate was unaware of the mystery but not insensitive to the attraction which issued from Jesus even in that moment. His words tell us everything about Christ's human reality. Jesus is the man; a true man who, like us in all things but sin, became a victim for sin and entered into solidarity with all, even to death on a cross.”

~Pope John Paul II (General audience of February 10, 1988)