We shall be like him (1 Jn 3, 2)
There is no salvation except in the name of Jesus. He saves us by laying down his life for us. His name is synonymous with simplicity, humility, meekness, mortification and zeal.
The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and those truly his know him. Jesus reveals himself, and he is known, as a man of simplicity, of pure motives.
He does not seek his own gain, advancement or glory, and denounces those who pursue reverences and recognitions in marketplaces, synagogues and banquets, and use long prayers to take advantage of widows. And since he practices what he preaches, he empties himself and takes the form of a slave.
Clearly then, Jesus is clean of heart. He does not look out for his own interests. There is no falsehood in him. Moreover, his simplicity entails humility. And who practices mortification better than the one who dies for the truth and “practices for death”, the hour for which he has come?
And is there a more consuming zeal than that of the one who goes about doing good? Zeal prompts him to eat with sinners, touch a leper, ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water, let a known prostitute kiss his feet and anoint them. He is the tireless sheep owner who leaves the ninety-nine in the desert to go after a lost one. He does his utmost, so that there may be one flock, one shepherd. He is not one to say arrogantly to dissenting disciples, “If you question my doctrines, feel free to leave.”
Jesus’ zeal is even more admirable, since meek like a lamb led to the slaughter, he gives his body up and sheds his blood for sinners. Our offenses outrage him, but his anger lasts but a moment, his goodness and meekness, a lifetime. If the infuriated refuses to rejoice and celebrate, the kind and meek, on the other hand, celebrates joyfully with a feast the coming back to life of someone who had been dead.
Those who really know Jesus, “the author” of the above-mentioned five missionary virtues, are also characterized by them. They preach the Gospel by words and by works, comforting the poor, supplying their spiritual and temporal needs, assisting them in every way and having others assist them likewise (FrXII:88-87).
Lord Jesus, grant that we truly know you and be like you.
Ross Reyes Dizon