Wednesday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time
“Blessed are you who are poor”
As almost all men have a natural tendency to pride, the Lord begins the beatitudes by casting aside the original sin of self-sufficiency and by counseling our imitation of him who is truly blessed, the genuinely voluntary Poor man… so we might become like him in a voluntary poverty that is according to our means, so as to share his blessedness, his happiness. “Have among you the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus. Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,” (Phil 2,5-7).
What could be more wretched for God than to take the form of a slave? What lowlier for the King of the universe than to share our human nature? The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Judge of the world pays taxes to Caesar (1Tim 6,17; Heb 12,23; Mk 12,17)! Creation’s lord embraces this world, enters a cave, finds no place in an inn and takes refuge in a stable in the company of irrational beasts. He who is pure and spotless takes upon himself the stains of human nature and, after sharing all our poverty, goes so far as to experience our death. Consider the excessiveness of his voluntary poverty! Life tastes death; the Judge is dragged before the court; the Master of the lives of us all submits to a magistrate; the King of the heavenly powers does not escape the hands of torturers. This is the pattern, says the apostle Paul, against which his humility is measured.