As I was driving around town on Friday afternoon, doing some quick errands, I heard a song come on the Christian radio station which practically brought me to tears. The song was called “How Many Kings,” originally by the band, Downhere. The lyrics in the chorus struck me so hard.
How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me
In this time of Advent, we are preparing to celebrate the Incarnation of our God. It is so easy to forget that what we are preparing to celebrate is the exact opposite of what we deserve as sinful human beings. We forget, in the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, that our King left His Heavenly Throne and came down to be with us, clothed in human weakness, because He loves us so deeply. In a world where we endlessly offend and hurt the heart of so good a God, He came to us as a tiny, vulnerable human being. He rested his Holy head in a feeding trough, in a stinky barn, filled with animals and all that accompany them. Jesus still comes to us physically at every Mass, under an even more humble form; under the appearance of Bread and Wine. Christ has endured so much for us in order to save us from our eternal death sentence, and all this, because He is so madly in love with us. He loves us though we repeatedly reject Him, in our words, in our thoughts, in our actions.
Our Lord appeared on the Altar to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during the Octave in preparation for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ) and said “Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love. But what I feel most keenly is that it is hearts which are consecrated to Me, that treat Me thus.”
St. Padre Pio said that “So plentiful, O Christians, are the lessons that shine forth from the grotto of Bethlehem! Oh how our hearts should be on fire with love for the one who with such tenderness was made flesh for our sakes! Oh how we should burn with desire to lead the whole world to this lowly cave, refuge of the King of kings, greater than any worldly palace, because it is the throne and dwelling place of God! Let us ask this Divine child to clothe us with humility, because only by means of this virtue can we taste the fullness of this mystery of Divine tenderness.”
True love is sacrificing for the good of the other. What better way could there have been for God to show His love for us by becoming man in order that He might die for us. Let us take some time between now and Christmas, and even during the Christmas season, to meditate upon this great mystery.