The life of humility which Jesus lived, even from his infancy.
All the clues that the angels gave the shepherds to help them find the Saviour, who had just been born, were marks of humility: This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger (Luke 2:12). This is how you will find the newborn Messiah, the angel said. You will find him as an infant, wrapped in poor ragged clothes, in a stable, lying on straw in a manger for animals. That is how the King of Heaven, the Son of God, was born, because he came to destroy the pride that had been the cause of humanity’s spiritual ruin.
The prophets foretold that our Redeemer would be treated as the most wretched person on earth, and that he would be overwhelmed with insults. How much ridicule Jesus had to tolerate because of us! He was treated as a drunkard, as a magician, as a blasphemer, and a heretic. Think of how many insults he had to endure during his passion. He was abandoned by his own disciples. One of them even sold him for thirty pieces of silver, and another denied having ever known him. He was led through the streets bound like a criminal, scourged like a slave, treated like a madman, and mocked as a bogus king. He was struck, spit upon in the face, and finally he was put to death on a cross, suspended between two thieves. One would think that he had been the greatest lawbreaker the world had ever seen.
Saint Bernard commented that the noblest of all men, Jesus Christ, was treated like the most depraved person of all. “But, my Jesus,” he adds, “the more degraded you are, the more dear you are to me.” The more humbled and despised he appears, the more esteemed and worthy of our love he becomes.
Affections and Prayers
O sweet Saviour, you have embraced so much disgrace for love of me, and yet I cannot bear a word of insult without immediately thinking of revenge—I, who often deserve to be trampled underfoot by all those whom I have harmed. I am ashamed of appearing before you, such an arrogant sinner that I am. O Lord, do not drive me from your presence, as I deserve. You have promised that you cannot condemn a heart that repents and humbles itself. I regret all the offences I have ever committed against you or against my neighbour. Forgive me, Jesus, for I will not offend you or anyone else ever again. You have put up with so many wounds for my sake. For your sake, I will bear all the difficulties that may come my way.
I love you, my Jesus; you who endured such evil for my sake. I love you, my Good, above every other good. Give me your help, that I may always love you and that I may endure every trial for love of you.
O Mary, recommend me to your son. Pray to Jesus for me.