Josemaría Escrivá Obras
113

When we consider the dignity of the vocation God calls us to, we might become proud and presumptuous. If that happens, we have a wrong idea of the christian mission. Our error prevents us from realizing that we are made of clay, that we are dust and wretchedness. We forget that there is evil not only around us, but right inside ourselves, nestled deep in our hearts, which makes us capable of vileness and selfishness. Only the grace of God is sure ground, we are sand, quicksand.

If we look at the history of mankind or at the present situation of the world, it makes us sad to see that after twenty centuries there are so few who claim to be Christians and fewer still who are faithful to their calling. Many years ago, a man with a good heart but who had no faith, said to me, pointing to a map of the world: "Look how Christ has failed! So many centuries trying to give his teaching to men, and there you have the result: there are no Christians."

There are many people nowadays who still think that way. But Christ has not failed. His word and his life continue to enrich the world. Christ's work, which his Father entrusted to him, is being carried out. His power runs right through history, bringing true life with it, and "when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one."

God wants us to cooperate with him in this task which he is carrying out in the world. He takes a risk with our freedom. I am deeply moved by the Jesus born in Bethlehem: a defenceless, powerless child, incapable of offering any resistance. God gives himself up to men; he comes close to us, down to our level.

"Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant." God respects and bows down to our freedom, our imperfection and wretchedness. He agrees to have his divine treasures carried in vessels of clay; he lets us make them known; God is not afraid of mixing his strength with our weaknesses.

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