“During this week they should seek to understand Jesus Christ better. They may say the ‘Prayer to Jesus’ (cf. TD 67). They may pray repeatedly, ‘Lord, that I may know you’, or ‘Lord, that I may see’. As during the previous week, they should recite the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Ave Maris Stella, adding every day the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus.” (TD 230)
Aim: To encounter, know and love Jesus in his Humanity.
Word made flesh (Gal 4:4; Jn 1:14): When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. And so, the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
In human form (Phil 2:6-7): Though Christ Jesus was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with Godas something to be exploited,but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,being born in human likeness. And being found in human form […]
Paul, in his letter to the Romans (1:3), calls Jesus “son of David according to the flesh”. And the author of Hebrews writes, “Since the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus himself likewise partook of the same” (Heb 2:14).
The humanity of Jesus finds its primary significance in the mystery of the Incarnation, presented by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort as “the first mystery of Jesus Christ” or “a summary of all his mysteries since it contains the intention and the grace of them all” (TD 248).
In the humanity of Jesus, the “intention” of the Incarnation finds its concrete realization in the form of “flesh” or full sharing in our human condition. To understand the implication of this statement, we need first to know that the Greek language, the medium of St. John’s gospel, uses two words for the human body: soma to describe the ideal condition of the body, and sarx to refer to its complex reality of vulnerability. Now, in chapter 1:14 and throughout his gospel, John refers to Jesus’ body with the term sarx. This is to affirm that the humanity of Jesus is a declaration of full solidarity and intimate communion with our fragile human condition.
The “intention” of the Incarnation, through the humanity of Jesus, is full sharing in our human condition. But Montfort says that, together with an intention, the Incarnation contains a “grace” attached to the same humanity of Jesus. What might this grace be? Theology tells us that the humanity of Jesus is “the” sacrament par excellence of the love of God towards us. Practically, God could not think of a better way to manifest his love and to save us but through the grace-filled sign of Jesus’ humanity.
Personal Reflection and Sharing
Which aspect of my humanity is particularly conversing with the humanity of Jesus?
In what ways do I feel that the humanity of Jesus is a channel of grace to me?