What’s in a kiss? In the Gospel, the Lord is kissed two times.
The last time He is kissed, it is right on the face, by Judas. Remember how the kiss was the sign to the guards to tell which man was Jesus of Nazareth? He is using the kiss to inform. He is betraying Him with his kiss. There is a phrase for that type of kiss. It’s called “kissing up.” It’s when a person kisses the head, like when people kiss up to politicians or bosses or teachers or clergy or moviestars – or God. In the meantime, they don’t have love in their hearts. It’s all for selfish gain.
The first time He is kissed is by a woman at His feet. She was crying and washing his feet with her tears and kissing them and anointing them with expensive ointment. She had many sins forgiven by Him. What’s in her heart? Love, gratitude, adoration. He has changed her life. That type of kissing?
Kissing down is when out of gratitude and love for what God has done for us, we seek to please the people at the bottom. It’s when we look to raise up the poor, the suffering, children, the elderly, the failures and sinners and weak in our lives.
We all know what kissing up gets us – that’s the example that Judas gives us. The Lord has nothing to do with kissing up. He wants us to raise up the low around us, like He raises us up. He wants us to have gratitude for His Love and be like Him.
He wants us to kiss down.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk 4:18-19)