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What Jesus Thinks of You

In today’s first reading (Friday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I), we hear of a vision the prophet Daniel has. It contains imagery we may not understand, at least I know I don’t understand. The Bible continues a lot of imagery. We may understand some of it but we probably don’t understand all of it, especially imagery like this found in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation.

We don’t have to understand it all. God will reveal to us what we do need to understand. The final verses of today’s first reading are the same verses we heard in the first reading last Sunday as we celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In my homily on Sunday, I said that the Ancient One is God our Father and that Jesus is the Son of Man who receives “dominion, glory, and kingship” from God our Father. Jesus is our king.

One image that we have of Jesus is as our king. He is not king as one who lords his power over his people. Jesus is our king as one who loves us.

What images of Jesus do you have? Do you fear him as a judge? Do you love him as a brother? Do you know Jesus as a redeemer? Or do you fear him as a punisher?

We depict Jesus in various ways. We see love and hope in Jesus as we look at Jesus as a baby laying in a manger. We see Jesus caring for his people when He is depicted as the Good Shepherd, holding a lamb. We see the love of Jesus as we look at him on the Cross.

What about when we sin?

Have you ever been to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Washington, DC? Behind the altar in the main church you can see an image of Jesus. In seminary, we called it “angry Jesus.” Do you think of Jesus as being angry at you?

Does Jesus get upset when we sin? Yes. Does Jesus wish better for us? Yes. Jesus wants us to sin no more. He knows we can’t do this on our own. Together with the Father, Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to help us. Still, at times we sin.

Do you get angry with someone who hurts you? Probably. Does that mean Jesus gets angry with us? We might think so because it is what we do. However, Jesus, does not act in angry towards us. He drove the money changers out of the temple. However, Jesus is governed by another emotion.

Love.

Jesus loves you.

I guarantee it. How can I guarantee it? Look at a Crucifix. Jesus gave his life for you and me. An angry person would not do this. Jesus willingly laid down his life for us because He loves us. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus does not want us to sin. He, together with the Father, and the Holy Spirit will do everything they can to help us. Yet, at times we fall short. Do not be afraid. Jesus loves you. Ask for his forgiveness.

Look at the Crucifix. See Jesus. See Jesus who does not strike you down in anger. Instead, He gives his life for you.

I have no doubt that Jesus loves you.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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