There is a great paradox in our faith. We are, at one and the same time, so little and so great.
Picture a one-celled amoeba trying to get the attention of a human person. A typical human being has about 32 trillion cells. Why would a human being pay any attention to an infinitesimally small one-celled amoeba?
God is infinite, the Creator of a universe with a hundred billion galaxies, a universe that is billions of years old. Why would he pay any attention to an infinitesimally small human person living for a little time on a little planet in a little galaxy in this gigantic universe?
We who are infinitesimally small are made great through baptism. We, like John the Baptist, are not worthy to unfasten Jesus’ sandals. Yet Jesus says “he who accepts anyone I send accepts me, and in accepting me and the one who sent me.” (John 13:20) By grace we are identified as belonging to Christ.
That is why we have confidence when we pray. By ourselves we are nothing. Why would God pay any attention to us? But as members of the body of Christ through baptism, our prayers are with Christ and through Christ. And the Father always hears the prayers of the Son. (Cf. John 11:42)
This Easter season we continue to reflect on and celebrate the sacrament of baptism. Through the waters of baptism we are transformed from littleness to greatness. So very great, and yet willing to stoop down and wash feet, that is serve, because that’s what Jesus did.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/