May we always remember the way in which the gates of paradise were opened for us by pondering the life of Christ.  Many people thought the Messiah would be a revolutionary who would set Israel free from foreign domination and oppression through political and military power.  Indeed, Jesus did come to set God’s children free from sin and for eternal life in heaven, but it was to be through the way of weakness.

Jesus became weak and vulnerable for each of us when he took on frail humanity being born of the Virgin Mary.  Though Jesus was in the form of God he did not deem equality with God something to be prized, rather he took the form of a slave, being born in our likeness, obediently accepting even death, death on the cross  (see Phil. 2:5-8).  Yes, Jesus became a slave for you and me.  A slave had no status or say but was at his master’s beck and call.  A slave was at the mercy of his master.  Jesus offered his whole life to the mercy of the Father’s plan.

As we reflect on the life of Christ from his birth to his public ministry of teaching, healing and miracles, we see how Jesus, at the mercy of his Father’s plan, moves towards ultimate weakness.  Jesus moved to the depth of weakness as he was whipped, spat upon and mocked.  He chose to be vulnerable to the Father’s plan when he took the cross on his shoulders.  The pinnacle of his weakness happened when he breathed his last after an excruciating and humiliating crucifixion.  But it was precisely in this supreme weakness that death was conquered and heaven’s love energized the whole world by creating it anew through the power of the resurrection.  It was in and through the weakness of Jesus that the sting of death was replaced by the healing embrace of God who would go to any length to share his love with us.  The Father’s power became perfect in Christ’s absolute weakness.  St. Paul knew this truth when he said: The Lord said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness”  (2 Cor. 12:9).  Because of the absolute weakness of the man-God, we, like St. Paul, can come to know the power and forever love of the Father who waits for us to come to him in weakness.