“Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.”
When I read this passage from the second reading I stopped for a few minutes to try and absorb this truth of the Incarnation.
Jesus became one of us for our sake.
He was born of His Virgin Mother Mary for our sake.
His mission was revealed in the Temple, his mission to suffer for our sins for our sake.
He hid himself in a childhood of poverty and ordinariness for our sake.
He sanctified the waters of Baptism in his own Baptism, taking on our sins for our sake.
He was tempted in the desert for our sake.
He went out and brought the message of healing and forgiveness of sins for our sake
He suffered loneliness and persecution for our sake.
He suffered all of the effects of the human condition for our sake.
He endured the agony of all of the sins of the world for our sake.
He was scourged and beaten for our sake.
He was crowned with a crown of thorns and mocked for our sake.
He carried his cross to Calvary for our sake.
He was nailed to the cross and crucified for our sake.
He died and was laid in the tomb for three days for our sake.
And then He opened the gates of Heaven for our sake!
What more can we ask for in the sufferings of our life than a merciful God who wants to be united to us in those very sufferings? On the day of His Presentation, Jesus’ identity as Savior of the world was proclaimed by Simeon. Today, when we remember this canticle repeated so often in the quiet hours of night, let us remember the saving work accomplished in his 33 years of life, for our sake. Let us rejoice on the day of His consecration that enable each one of us to be consecrated to God for a specific mission and purpose, for His glory, for the joy of each soul, and for the salvation of the world.