Thursday, May 10, 2012
In Jesus' Style
May 9, 2012
Jesus is saying goodbye to His disciples. He has loved them passionately. He has loved them with the same love with which He has loved the Father. Now He has to leave them. He knows their selfishness. They don't know how to love one another. He sees them arguing among themselves over who will have the first posts. What will happen to them?
Jesus' words become solemn. They must remain well understood by all. "This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus doesn't want His style of loving to be lost among His own. If they forget it some day, no one will be able to recognize them as His disciples.
There is one indelible memory of Jesus. The first generations summarized His life like this: "He went about doing good." It was good to meet Him. He always sought out the good in people. He helped them to live. His life was Good News. One could discover God's good closeness in Him.
Jesus has a distinctive style of loving. He is very sensitive to the people's suffering. He can't pass those who are suffering by. One day, upon entering the little village of Nain, He runs into a funeral procession -- a widow is going to bury her only son. Jesus' love for that unknown woman comes out. "Woman, do not weep." Whoever loves as Jesus does alleviates suffering and dries tears.
The gospels recall on different occasions how Jesus grasped the suffering of the people with His glance. He looked at them and was moved. He saw them suffering or beaten down, like sheep without a shepherd. Quickly, he began to cure the sickest and feed them with His words. Whoever loves as Jesus does learns to look at people's faces with compassion.
Jesus' willingness to do good is admirable. He doesn't think of Himself. He is attentive to any call, always willing to do what He can. He welcomes a blind beggar who asks Him for compassion as He goes along the way with these words: "What do you want me to do for you?" Whoever loves as Jesus does goes through life with this attitude.
Jesus knows how to be with the most disadvantaged. They don't have to ask Him. He does what he can to heal their pain, free their consciences, and spread trust in God. But He can't solve all the problems of those people.
So He devotes Himself to acts of kindness: He embraces children in the street -- He doesn't want anyone to feel like an orphan; He blesses the sick -- He doesn't want them to feel neglected by God; He caresses the skin of the lepers -- He doesn't want them to see themselves as excluded. Such are the acts of whoever loves as Jesus does.