Reflecting on Philippians 2: 1-11
My husband has a great friend of his youth who has served as a priest for 23 years. They lost track of each other for many years, and one day last spring Ben woke up and said, “I wonder what ever happened to Fr. Ben Reese.”
It was a God thing. A quick google search revealed that this sweet, holy man, who never wanted anything but to be a priest, had been diagnosed with ALS. The particular form of his disease attacked his voice box first, so over the past year he has lost what he most treasured: his ability to say the words of consecration over the bread and wine, and of absolution in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Imagine giving your whole life over so that you could proclaim the gospel and preach it, and then be unable to utter a word. Imagine being unable to even say “Body of Christ” while distributing the Eucharist. Imagine having to rely on others so much in order to serve as a priest that my husband recently assisted him by praying the prayers for the dying for a man just moments before his death, while Father Ben blessed him.
Imagine being Jesus, who, though he was God, took on our human estate so thoroughly that he was able to be tortured, scourged, and nailed to a tree. And because of that great humility every knee in heaven and on earth (and under the earth) bends at his Name.
We know that we will all face death. We cling to Jesus, who became one with us so that we would know that, in our most tortured state, we are never alone.
In what ways has the crucified Christ been a comfort to you?