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  • Sarah Raad

Subjugation

“I have come to do My Father's will. I obeyed My parents, I obeyed My tormentors and now I obey the priests.” (Saint Faustina, Diary 535).

Christ Before Pilate (Cristo Perante Pilatos) (Bosch)

The Oxford English dictionary defines the word “subjugation” as “the action of bringing someone or something under domination or control.”


That is pretty strong language when you really think about it. I mean, we could use that word to describe one country subjugating another country through attack and war by saying, “Russia, in subjugating the nation of the Ukraine, brought about destruction and unrest in Europe and the world.” Or, we could use that word to describe a human subjugating an animal, bringing that animal under their control by saying, “The trainer’s method focused on subjugating the dog so that it would understand who its master really was.”


And I have been reflecting on that word today – on Holy Thursday – because I have come to see how this day, of all days, is a day where we commemorate the subjugation of God by man…


You see, on this day, my Beloved stood before seven courts and allowed Himself to be judged. He allowed mortal men – mere creatures – to subjugate Him and judge Him. And what is worse, he allowed this, knowing that those judges were corrupt and unjust and unholy. And He allowed this knowing that those judges acted under the cover of darkness with a bribe of a comparatively worthless thirty silver pieces...


I can imagine those courtrooms on that night. I can imagine the deference that those judges demanded of the Son of Man. I can imagine the slaps in the Face that He received on this day. I can imagine the insults hurled at Him when He – God of the Universe and Creator of all things – refused to defend Himself against such worthless human corruption. And yet – seeing the infirmity of their souls (seeing the infirmity of mine) – still He consented to subjugate Himself to their empty authority…


And I have been reflecting on this reality very much today…


You see, there is no creature less worthy of subjugation and no creature more profoundly available for subjugation than Christ!


In his revelations to Saint Faustina, which she recorded in her Diary, Christ – GOD HIMSELF – shockingly explained His subjugation like this… “I have come to do My Father's will. I obeyed My parents, I obeyed My tormentors and now I obey the priests.” (Diary 535).


And it is upon this obedience, this subjugation, of the Almighty to mere human desires, that I reflect.

You see, it does not matter how terrible the priest may be. It does not matter how corrupt, sinful, flawed, weak or plain downright wrong the priest may be. It does not even matter if the priest is in a state of mortal sin! Christ – God, the King of the Universe – is subjugated to him.

On this day, twenty centuries ago, God Almighty – in instituting the Blessed Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, the mystery that we commemorate in the fifth luminous mystery of the Most Holy Rosary – subjugated Himself to man… On this day, twenty centuries ago, God subjugated Himself to the priest, and He – God of the Universe – obeys each priest every single time the sacraments are administered. And He subjugates Himself to me too. For when I ask the priest to administer a sacrament for me, God – through the actions of the priest – obeys me! And it is my worthless miserable little soul that my Beloved thought of that night when He broke bread with His disciples.


And when I think of this, I tremble. Because Saint Leonard of Port Maurice said it plainly, “What tongue, human or angelic, may ever describe a power so immeasurable as that exercised by the simplest priest in Mass? Who could ever have imagined that the voice of man, which by nature hath not the power even to raise a straw from the ground, should obtain through grace a power so stupendous as to bring from Heaven to earth the Son of God?”


And He comes to earth - subjugating Himself - even for such a lowly soul as mine. How could I ever thank my Lord and God for this? How could I ever?


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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