The heart of Jesus is full of love and
compassion. We learn a lot about this in the bible. In Matthew 11:29,
Jesus said; “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek
and humble of heart”. In Matthew 9:36, we also read: “At the
sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity for them because they
were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” His
heart was also moved with pity, when He saw the widow at Naim, (Lk 7: 11-13). Jesus knew the depths of His Father’s love for us, as revealed in
the parable of the Prodigal Son. He himself, out of love for everyone,
allowed Hs heart to be pierced by our sins (CCC 2269).
The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that if
we consider the life of Jesus in the light of reason, we will find that His
strength, poise, and grace are His most characteristic qualities.
His strength shows itself in His way of
life, His decisiveness, authority, and His rugged, nomadic lifestyle – He
had nowhere to rest His head (Lk 9:58), which leaves no room for weakness or
sentimentality. Jesus’ strength and resolve are demonstrated when He prayed
and fasted for forty days and nights in the desert and then withstood the
temptations of Satan (Mt 4: 1-11).
The strength of Christ's character gives
rise to another quality which we can perhaps describe as ‘poise’. His
strength lies in his ability to keep a perfect equilibrium between feelings
and reason. His body is the perfect instrument in the performance of His
duty; His emotions are wholly subservient to the will of His Father. In
Jesus, there are no ifs, buts, or maybes. He maintains a perfect balance
between the life of His body, His mind, and His emotions. His character is
so fully formed; there is no room for vacillation or equivocation. Another
trait of Jesus which may be considered as flowing from His poise is His
inalienable peace, a peace which may occasionally be ruffled, but can never
be shattered either by His inward feelings or outward encounters.
The character of Christ carries with it the
trait of grace, which does away with all harshness and lack of amiability.
Jesus sympathizes with all classes, with the rich and the poor, the learned
and the ignorant, the happy and the sad. He moves with the same sense of
familiarity among all classes of society. He chooses common fishermen for
the cornerstones of His kingdom, and by His kindliness trains them to become
the light of the world and the salt of the earth. He bends down to St.
Peter whose character was a heap of sand rather than a solid "foundation”,
and graciously forms Peter into the rock upon which He build His Church.
In the first week of September, the Theme
is: We have the heart and character of Christ when we renounce all our
possessions and follow Him. To persevere in being disciples of Jesus
Christ, we should no longer be attached to the pleasures, honors, and titles
of the world, or to carnal relationships. Then we can have the Promise of
the Week: “…the gracious care of the Lord our God (is) ours; prosper
the work of our hands.” (Ps 90: 17)
The Theme for the second week is: We
have the heart and character of Christ when we forgive unconditionally.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are reminded that as our Lord readily
forgives us when we are sincerely contrite, so too, should we forgive others
unconditionally. The Promise of the Week is: “I will make your
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I
promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.”
For the third week, the Theme is: We
have the heart and character of Christ when we are trustworthy stewards.
We should be fully devoted to God, completely trust in His providential
care, and serve only Him. The promise of the week is: “He raises up
the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor…."
(Ps 113: 7)
The Theme for the last week is: We have
the heart and character of Christ when we share our lives with the poor.
We are reminded to lead virtuous lives, shared with the poor if we want
to reap the eternal consolation promised by God. The Promise of the week
is: “Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the
oppressed, gives good to the hungry.” (Ps 146: 7)