Josemaría Escrivá Obras
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Christ is passing by > Christ's presence in christians > Number 108
108

It makes me very happy to realize that Christ wanted to be fully a man, with flesh like our own. I am moved when I contemplate how wonderful it is for God to love with a man's heart. Let us choose some events from the Gospel, beginning with Jesus' relationships with the twelve. St John the Apostle, who pours into his narrative so much that is first-hand, tells of his first unforgettable conversation with Christ. "Master, where are you staying? He said to them, Come and see. They went and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour."

This divine and human dialogue completely changed the life of John and Andrew, and Peter and James and so many others. It prepared their hearts to listen to the authoritative teaching which Jesus gave them beside the Sea of Galilee. "As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Immediately they left their nets and followed him."

During the next three years, Jesus shared his life with his disciples; he came to know them; he answered their questions and resolved their doubts. He is indeed the rabbi, the Master who speaks with authority, the Messiah sent by God. But he is also accessible; he is close to them. One day Jesus went off to pray and the disciples were near him, perhaps staring at him and trying to make out what he was saying. When Jesus came back, one of them said: "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples. And he told them, When you pray, say, Father, hallowed be thy name..."In the same way, with the authority of God and the affection of a human heart, our Lord meets the Apostles who were amazed at the fruits of their first mission and eager to tell him about the immediate results of their apostolate: "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while."

There is a similar scene toward the end of Jesus' life on earth, just before his ascension: "Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Young men, have you any fish? Jesus asked them." He asks the question as any man would, and then he speaks as God: "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter: It is the Lord."

And God is waiting for them on the shore. "When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Bring some of the fish that you have just caught, Jesus said to them. So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them: Come and have breakfast. Now none of the disciples dared ask him, Who are you? They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish."

Jesus shows this refinement and affection not only to a small group of disciples, but to everyone: to the holy women, to representatives of the Sanhedrin, like Nicodemus, to tax collectors like Zachaeus; he shows it to sick and healthy people, to teachers of the law and pagans, to individuals and crowds.

The Gospels tell us that Jesus had no place to rest his head, but they also tell us that he had many good, close friends, eager to have him stay in their homes when he was in the vicinity. They tell us of his compassion for the sick, of his sorrow for those who were ignorant or in error, his anger at the money changers who profaned the temple; his heart was touched by the sorrow of the widow at Naim.

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