“Growing in the light of the Images of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit to deepen our conviction and commitment to the Kingdom!”
(Based on Acts 15:22-31 and Jn 15:12-17 – Friday of the 5th Week in Easter)
The Gospels are a beautiful account of the many narratives, describing the works, teachings and life of Jesus.
We get a glimpse to various images and facets of the life of Jesus.
These various images of the Lord, help us to relate to Him in a much more intimate and closer manner.
These various images of the Lord, also help us, in turn, to imitate Him and to live more and more like Him, in this world.
The Gospel of the Day… just six verses… Jn 15: 12-17, on closer reading, presents a number of images of the Lord.
These images will help us to…
… form a closer bond with the Lord
… imitate the Lord better in our lives
IMAGE 1: Jesus, the Lover…. inviting us to be His lovers!
The Lord says, “… love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn 15: 12)
Jesus is our Lover!
He is the Love-incarnate, and He expresses His deep love to us at every moment of our life.
Do we experience the Lord as a Lover…?
… intimately and passionately loving us, even in the midst of problems of life
… assuring His faithful support to us at every situation, even if we have been unfaithful
IMAGE 2: Jesus, the friend… inviting us to have Him as our best friend!
The Lord says, “… I have called you friends… ” (Jn 15: 15b)
Jesus is our Friend!
He is the One who shares everything that He has with us and does not keep any secrets in this Divine friendship.
Do we experience the Lord as our Friend…?
… constantly walking beside us, sharing our every emotion – joy, sorrow, hateful feelings, frustration, silly thoughts, stupid doubts, unseen jealousies etc
… on whom we can rely on, in any situation of life – may not get an answer in every problem, but surely being strengthened in having a shoulder to lean on and hands to hold onto!
IMAGE 3: Jesus, the brother…inviting us to share in His Sonship!
The Lord says, “… I have told you everything I have heard from My Father” (Jn 15: 15)
Jesus, the Son of the Heavenly Father, is our Brother!
We are raised to a status of being “sons in the Son”!
We are given the privilege to address God – not as any impersonal being, or a distant reality.. but as our Father – a loving Daddy, a caring Parent!
Do we experience the Lord as our Brother…?
… the One who reveals the secrets of the Heavenly Family and bids us have a closer union with the Divine Family
… the One who asks us to cast off our fear of God as being some strict rule-keeper and instead to cherish His Fatherly affection and fondness
IMAGE 4: Jesus, the Master… inviting us to give heed to His commandments!
The Lord says, ” This I command: love one another” (Jn 15: 17)
Jesus is our Master!
We are obliged to obey the order of the Lord and carry out His plans and wishes faithfully.
Do we experience the Lord as our Master…?
… giving heed to His commandment of being an instrument of love and harmony in our life situations
… being faithful, in little or big things, to please the Master at all times
IMAGE 5: Jesus, the Intercessor… inviting us to cast our concerns to Him!
The Lord says, “… whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you” (Jn 15:16b)
Jesus is our Intercessor!
By His Holy Sacrifice, He has become the mediator and intercessor for the entire human race, before the Heavenly Father (1 Tim 2:5)
Do we experience the Lord as our Intercessor…?
… bringing before Him our concerns and the needs of the world, knowing that intercession is a very powerful means of alleviating the struggles and problems of the world
… becoming a prayer-warrior and helping the grace and intervention of God to be felt by people who are in distress and trouble
IMAGE 6: Jesus, the Missionary.. inviting us to be co-workers in His Project Kingdom!
The Lord says, “you did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…” (Jn 15: 16a)
Jesus is our model Missionary
The mission that was entrusted by the Father is now shared by Jesus to all of us, and we become partners and collaborators with Him
Do we experience Jesus as our model Missionary…?
… knowing that He is the ideal and perfect missionary and that I must seek to imitate Him, in bringing God’s reign in the lives of people
… realising that it is a huge honour and a big responsibility that is placed on me, to be a co-worker and teammate of the Lord.
The Gospel presents these powerful images of the Lord to grow closer to Him and to reflect these images, in our contexts.
The early Church reflected on the various dimensions and guidance of the Lord, working in their lives and made decisions in the light of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:22-31)
We are also invited to grow in the light of the Images of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit to deepen our conviction and commitment to the Kingdom!
Let the words of St Clare inspire us:
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.
If we love things, we become a thing.
If we love nothing, we become nothing.
Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation.
This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE SACRAMENTS OF ETERNAL LIFE
“The members do not all have the same function.”
Certain members are called by God, in and through the Church, to a special service of the community.
These servants are chosen and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders, by which the Holy Spirit enables them to act in the person of Christ the head, for the service of all the members of the Church.
The ordained minister is, as it were, an “icon” of Christ the priest.
Since it is in the Eucharist that the sacrament of the Church is made fully visible, it is in his presiding at the Eucharist that the bishop’s ministry is most evident, as well as, in communion with him, the ministry of priests and deacons.
For the purpose of assisting the work of the common priesthood of the faithful, other particular ministries also exist, not consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders; their functions are determined by the bishops, in accord with liturgical traditions and pastoral needs.
“Servers, readers, commentators, and members of the choir also exercise a genuine liturgical function.”
In the celebration of the sacraments it is thus the whole assembly that is “leitourgos,” each according to his function, but in the “unity of the Spirit” who acts in all.
“In liturgical celebrations each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should carry out all and only those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the norms of the liturgy” (CCC # 1142-1144)