If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Imitating the One who Loves Us

Since we are in the midst of Advent -- the time when Christians reflect on the first coming of Jesus -- I thought to continue posting a few excerpts from my first book that speak to Christ's first advent (Oh, how I await His second!).

Nicene Creed Statement: By the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

Today’s focus: He became man

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And (Pilate) said to them, "Behold, the man!" (John 19:5)

At unexpected times, my memory’s eye catches glimpses of my deceased father. I see him in myself when I’m lost in thought and absently rub my fingers the way he used to. I see him sit ramrod straight when I hold my shoulders as he did. I see him in the mirror when I hold my chin a certain way to shave. His movements and patterns remain ingrained in my subconscious long after his death. But that I see him so often in myself shouldn’t surprise me. Children typically imprint some of their parents’ characteristics.

What kind of man was Jesus? How did He live and what were His habits? We do well to answer these questions because in learning to imitate Christ, we imprint His Father’s characteristics onto our subconscious and grow more closely into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

So, who was Jesus?

He was a Man of prayer. St. Luke wrote, “But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:15-16).

e was compassionate. “At the sight of the crowds,” St. Matthew records, “His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).

He possessed an intimate knowledge of the Scriptures. He quoted as easily from Moses as from the Prophets, from the Psalms to the Writings.

He was passionate for holiness. “Take these out of here,” He commanded the moneychangers. He turned over their tables, tossed their coins across the floor, and chased them from the temple. “Stop making My Father's house a marketplace" (John 2:16).

And He was a Man of humility. How can we understand the eternal Second Person of the Trinity, clothed in the flesh of a man, and yet He washed His disciples’ feet?

When we recite the Creed and focus on God who became Man, we can take the opportunity to meditate on His life of prayer, holiness, humility, compassion, and knowledge of Scripture. And by meditating, we can learn to imitate Him who fully reflects the Father.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, make me as a child in my Father’s arms. Open my eyes to observe Christ’s life, His habits, His passions. Imprint those things on my heart that I may walk as He walked. Amen.

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