Jesus and Mankind
Presence of God – O Jesus, teach me to love others as You love them.
The sacred soul of Jesus always remains in closest union with the Blessed Trinity and therefore in the most profound contemplation, yet He is ever mindful of the needs of mankind. It was for men that Jesus came—to save them and bring them to the Father; and He gives Himself to them with the utmost solicitude and abandon. The same charity which unites Jesus to His Father descends through the Father upon the men whom Jesus loves so tenderly. He wills to redeem them all because they belong to the Father, to whose image and likeness they were created. In a most touching manner Jesus expressed His tender love for men comparing Himself to the Good Shepherd: “I am the Good Shepherd; and I know Mine, and Mine know Me. As the Father knoweth Me and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep” (John 10:14-15). Jesus likens His union with us to the union He enjoys with His Father, the terms of comparison being knowledge and love. Certainly it is only a simple similitude and yet Jesus delights to speak of it. He sees and knows the Father in the splendor of His glory, but He also sees and knows each one of us in the reality of our poverty, sorrows, and longings. He loves the Father, and gives Himself totally for His glory, and at the same time He loves each one of us and gives Himself wholly for our salvation; or rather Jesus sees and knows us only in the Father and in relation to Him. This is the very reason for His love and for everything He has done for us; His infinite love for the Father has made Him the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep.
O Jesus, why am I not moved by Your solicitude and tender love for us, Your poor creatures? You enjoy the uninterrupted vision of the Most Holy Trinity, finding in it all Your beatitude and glory, but you do not will that this glory and beatitude should be exclusively Yours; You want to give us a share in it. O Jesus, I see You sharing our poor human life of misery and suffering, so that, making Yourself like to us in sorrow, we might be made like to You in glory.
Men have not understood You; they have not returned Your love … they have crucified You. Yet You still love them because Your love is not for Your own personal satisfaction, but only for the glory of the Blessed Trinity. O Jesus, out of love for Your Father You have loved us to the point of sacrificing Yourself entirely for us; grant that, out of love for You and for Your glory, I may know how to love my brethren and to give myself to them most generously.
“O my Jesus, how great is the love that Thou hast for the children of men! The greatest service that we can render Thee is to leave Thee for love of them and for their advantage. By doing this, we possess Thee the more completely; for, although the will has less satisfaction in the enjoyment of Thee, the soul is glad that Thou art pleased, and sees that, while we live in this mortal life, earthly joys are unsure, even though they seem to be bestowed by Thee, unless they are accompanied by the love of our neighbor. He who loves not his neighbor, loves not Thee, my Lord; for in all the Blood Thou didst shed, we see the exceeding great love which Thou bearest for the children of Adam” (Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God, 2).
O Jesus, grant that like You I may live in continual union with God and at the same time give myself to my neighbor. May I lead a life of continual recollection, prayer, and contemplation, yet a life wholly devoted to the service of others.
Note from Dan: This post on “Jesus and Mankind” is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on “Jesus and Mankind”, artist unknown, photographer Ralph Hammann, 2015 own work, CCA-SA,Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.