Throughout the history of its lengthy exiles Israel often experienced a radical sense of helplessness in the face of events which no human force could have changed. It learned humility, that is, an attitude of total dependence and complete trust in God. Precisely in the condition of a humble and poor people, Israel repeatedly took refuge and found a response solely in the One who had established with it an eternal covenant.
From the messianic perspective, the one awaited is a humble king who enters Zion riding a donkey, because the God of Israel is above all the “God of the humble”.
Because all the expectations were fulfilled in Jesus, we can learn true humility, that which makes our prayer acceptable to the Lord, from his life and teachings.

«The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds».

All of Jesus' life is a lesson in humility. He is God, and yet he became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, then bread in the Eucharist and finally, ” the on nothing?>He had said: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29). In washing the feet of his disciples, he who was master and teacher, bent down to perform the humblest of services. He had pointed out the little ones as a model, and he had entered Jerusalem riding a mule. In the end, he allowed himself to be crucified, annulling himself in body and in soul, in order to obtain heaven for us.
Why did he do all this? What motivated the Son of God?
What he was doing was revealing to us his relationship with the Father, the style of loving of the Trinity, which is a mutual “making oneself nothing” out of love, an eternal self-giving to one another.
Jesus pours out to humanity this trinitarian love which reaches its apex precisely in the act of giving himself completely in his passion and death.
Thus God shows his power in weakness. His is a love which elevates the world, precisely because it puts itself in the last place, on the lowest rung of creation.

«The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds».

Truly humble, then, are those who, following the example of Jesus, make themselves nothing out of love for others, who put themselves in the presence of God with an attitude of total availability to his will, who are totally empty of themselves so as to allow Jesus to live in them.
Their prayer will be granted because when they pronounce the word Abba-Father, it is no longer they who are praying; it is a prayer which obtains what it asks because it is put on their lips by the Holy Spirit.
The culminating point of Jesus' life was when “he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Heb 5:7-8), that is, because of his prayer inspired by total obedience to the will of the Father, by his complete abandonment to him.
This then is the prayer that pierces the clouds and reaches the heart of God, that of sons and daughters who rise above their misery and trustingly throw themselves into the arms of the Father.

Chiara Lubich


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