December 30, 2013

Meister Eckhart on the Humility of the Incarnation

Verse [1] 14: The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
116. Note first the "flesh" here stands for man figuratively, according to Matthew's text, "No flesh would be saved" (Mt. 24:22), and "No flesh will be justified from the works of the law" (Rm. 3:20). The Evangelist preferred to say "The Word was made flesh," rather than man, to commend the goodness of God who assumed not only man's soul, but also his flesh. In this he strikes at the pride of all those who when asked about their relatives respond by pointing to one who holds an important position, but are silent about their own descent. When asked, they say they are nephews of such and such a bishop, prelate, dean or the like. There is the story of the mule who when asked who his father was answered that his uncle was a thoroughbred, but out of shame hid the fact that his father was an ass.
From his commentary on John, quoted from Edmund Colledge, OSA and Bernard McGinn, trans., Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense, (Paulist, 1981, Classics of Western Spirituality series). The editors note that the story is from Aesop.

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