“The Son of God is soon to ascend to His Father. He has said to His Apostles: Going, teach all nations: preach the Gospel to every creature. Thus, then, the nations are not to receive the word from the lips of Jesus, but through His ministers. The glory and happiness of being instructed directly by the Man-God were for none but the Israelites, and even for them for only three short year.

The impious may murmur at this, and say, in their pride: ‘Why should there be men between God and us?’ God might justly answer: ‘And what right have you to expect me to speak to you Myself, seeing that you can otherwise be as certain of My word as though you heard it from Myself?’ Was the Son of God to lose His claim to our faith unless He remained on this earth to the end of time? If we reflect on the infinite distance there is between the Creator and creature, we shall detest such a blasphemy. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: and how can we reject it? Can we call the testimony human, which was given by the Apostles, when, in proof of their being sent by God, they showed the power, conferred on them by their Divine Master, of working miracles? Of course the pride of reason may rebel; it may protest, and refuse to believe men who speak in God’s name. Did not the very Son of God meet with more unbelievers than believers? And why? Because He affirmed Himself to be God, yet showed nothing exteriorly but His human nature. So that there was an act of faith to be made, even when Jesus Himself spoke; and pride might rebel, and say: ‘I will not believe;’ just as it will do when the Apostles speak in His name. The two cases are alike. God demands of us, as long as we are in this world, that we give Him our faith; and faith is not possible without humility. God confirms His word by miracles; but man has always the power to resist, and for that very reason faith is a virtue.

If it be asked – why, when God took His Son from this earth, He did not commission His angels to teach us in His name, instead of giving such a sublime office to men, frail and mortal s we ourselves are who receive their teaching – the reason is, that man could not be raised up from the state of degradation into which he had fallen by pride, except by submission and humility; and consequently, it was fitting that the ministry of the Divine word should not be entrusted to angels, inasmuch as our pride might have been flattered by our having for our teachers beings so noble and exalted. We believed the serpent when he spoke to us, and we had the pride to think that we might one day become gods: our merciful Creator, in order to save us, has imposed it as a law upon us, that we should yield submission to men, when they speak in His name.”

~ Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year

 

The sooner we recover the proper sense of the gratuity of grace, the better!

Advertisements