Tuesday, January 5, 2016

God's Need

God sees every one of us; He creates every soul . . . for a purpose. He needs, he deigns to need, every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in his sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for him. As Christ has his work, we too have ours; as he rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also. 

Imagine Saint John Neumann having the holy confidence to say that God needs us, indeed, chooses to need us. As we continue to celebrate these ordinary days of the Christmas season, today on this eleventh day of Christmas, the mystery of the Incarnation is powerfully brought home to us by his words.

In his Incarnation God loses himself in love for us, so much so that he chooses to come to us small and needy. As a little baby, God in Christ is dependent on Mary’s womb, on her warm milk and nurture for his sustenance. God is love. Love always gives itself, forgets itself. God is thus always toward us, always, always reaching out, using anything at all to get our attention. As Saint John Neumann dares to remind us today on his feast day, God “needs, he deigns to need, every one of us.”

Lines from a homily by Saint John Neumann. Orazio Gentilleschi, Rest on the Flight into Egypt, detail, 1628.