Knowing the Living Jesus

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The day after a recent and unexpected surgery, my doctors told me I should walk as much as possible.  As I began my first walk, dragging my IV pole and a couple of tubes, it seemed like a drudgery that is until I rounded the corner that led to the elevators.  There I saw a huge 24” x 36” picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with beautiful piercing eyes.  I felt an instant joy and loving warmth in my heart.  It was as if He were calling me to walk toward Him.  And each trip after that was one of expectation, a longing to see those loving eyes.  I began to see His presence in the nurses and aides that took such gentle care of me and even in the young boy who cleaned my room each day as he laughed and told me stories.  Do we really know the living Jesus, not from books, but from being with Him in our hearts?

In today’s Gospel, John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus’ mission as the One who redeems us from our sins.  The blood of the Passover Lamb delivered the Israelites in Egypt from death.  The blood of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb delivers us from everlasting death and destruction.  It is significant that John was the son of a priest, Zachariah, who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people.  In Jesus he saw the true and only sacrifice, which can deliver us from sins.  When John says he did not know Jesus he was referring to the hidden reality of Jesus divinity.  But the Holy Spirit in that hour revealed to John, Jesus’ true nature. John bore witness that this is the Son of God.  We can only know who Jesus truly is through the Holy Spirit who reveals Him to us.  Do we seek to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ?  Let us pray that the Spirit be aflame in our hearts that we may know and love Jesus more fervently and strive to do His will with joy and, as Mother Teresa says: “Accept whatever He sends and give whatever He takes with a big smile.”

Sylvia Bates