Contemplating Jesus


Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

Melozzo da Forli (1438-1494). )

Jesus not only embodied the two greatest commandments of loving God and neighbour, he also taught us how we could personally do the same. He was a master at the specifics. In his parables as well as his actions, he taught the very attitude and attributes that enable us to live from our hearts.

He spoke to hearts that were needing to be healed and opened: by inviting repeated acts of forgiveness, of liberating people’s minds from worries and troubles to trust in the goodness and kindness of God. He revoked all that separated particularly the judgement of others’ differences and insufficiencies, or a dislike of their characteristics. He advised that humility was the prerequisite for avoiding being put in embarrassing situations. He explained that we are not in charge of our life, God is. And he showed that we find God inside, in the heart.

Love, he told us, is being awake to not only ourselves but others and their needs.
Love is the foundation from which we grow and recognize where we can be of service.
Love Jesus showed, is sacrificial. It’s not easy: it requires giving something up. It requires generosity: it generates life in others by what is relinquished in ourselves.

Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus told his followers to “love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13: 34-35) These words call for deeper reflection. Jesus didn’t say love one another the way I showed you or by following what I told you. This last instruction certainly forms a summary of all he said and did, but it says more. By receiving the love of God, by being aware of how much we have received and still receive, transforms our hearts into a love that never dies. This is the love that is infinite, the driving force of our future. And this is the kind of love that lives on after we have gone.

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