The Divine Personality of Jesus

Each one of us sees Jesus in a different way. A man who has a temper and works to control it admires the gentleness of Jesus. It is the patient self-control of Jesus during explosive situations that he admires and tries to imitate.

It is the same with other weaknesses and frailties. We all look for that quality in Jesus that we need the most, and our concept of Jesus takes on that particular characteristic.

Looking at Jesus in this way is a part of Christian living. The imitation of Jesus in his daily life is to the Christian a privilege, a heritage, a challenge, a goal, an obligation, and a vocation.

It is easier to look at only one of His beautiful qualities, but when we do we run the risk of never seeing the whole of Christ. Our concept may become so one-sided that we may not be prudent in our practice of virtue.

If an occasion arose where just anger was in order, we might be silent, thinking only of the gentle Christ, and for getting zeal for the Honor and Glory of the Father.

This article is from Mother Angelica on Christ and Our Lady. Click image to preview other chapters.

Jesus possessed the ability to adjust and adapt Himself to every situation. He was totally selfless, and thought only of the Father’s Honor and Glory. Everything He accomplished or spoke of was for the Father. His Soul was immersed in the Father, and He kept Himself perfectly free interiorly.

Because of this, He had the insight to know the most per­fect action to take in every situation.

There were times He was angry, and other times, gentle. He was impatient with the weak faith of His Apostles, and tolerant with sinners who had no faith. He preached detachment, and yet cried at the tomb of Lazarus.

He spoke eloquently of the Kingdom and its joys, but had the compassion to raise a man from the dead because his mother was a widow.

His life was not a contradiction; it was a perfect balance of virtue and love. He would speak softly in the dark of night to Nicodemus because the man possessed so many fears, but the next day He spoke openly in the Temple and lashed out at the Pharisees for their pride and hypocrisy.

He was gentle with children and caressed them, spoke in parables to people who could not understand the language of the Law, forgave sinners, healed the sick, and trained men to be apostles and ambassadors of God. He was all things to all men without compromise.

He brought mere men up to His level, but if they refused to rise to a higher life, He left them alone. He gave men hope, but never ceased to warn them about temptation and the En­emy. He demanded a total giving of self, and then promised a reward that was “pressed down and running over” (Lk. 6:38).

To one crowd, He would speak of Mercy, Hope, and Love, but to another He would lash out with words of condemna­tion and warning. No matter what His words to a crowd were meant to convey, Jesus never ceased to be in complete control of Himself and of the situation. He gave to each person and each situation what it needed, and then went His way to an­other person and situation.

Everyone who approached Jesus with any desire for good­ness, received in abundance, and those who sought nothing received nothing.

One day when the crowds jostled Him back and forth, He stopped and asked His Apostles who touched Him. Peter was impatient and replied that the crowds were pressing in upon Him — everyone was touching Him.

Jesus was not speaking of a physical touch, but a spiritual one. A woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for years thought that if she touched the hem of His garment she would be healed. She managed to touch it and she was healed. The moment she touched His garment, power went out from Him, and Jesus felt it leaving His Body (Lk. 8:46).

He asked who touched Him, and it is strange that only one admitted doing so. Many had touched Him and He felt no power leave Him, for all those who touched Him among the crowd felt nothing.

Only Jesus and the woman had an experience — Jesus felt power leave Him, and the woman felt power enter her body and heal her.

Jesus possessed what the woman needed to be whole again, and she sought Him out. She looked for that power in Him to make up for what she lacked, and her desire was fulfilled. He was to her a healer, for she was sick. To others, He was shepherd for they were stray sheep. To some He was Prophet, for they needed to know the Kingdom was at hand.

But most of all, He was The Son of God, and He came to experience the consequences of the curse the Father had put upon mankind when Adam and Eve disobeyed. He came to redeem them from that curse, and in so doing, He became all things to all men. He became a “Man of Sorrows” acquainted with weakness but never succumbing to it.

He wanted to tell us that He knew what it meant to suffer, bleed, be rejected, misunderstood, and hated. He wanted to do all the things He commanded us to do so we would find it easier to forgive, overcome, obey, and be humble.

Because He was God and experienced what it means to be human, He has merited for us the grace to possess the Divine. Through Grace, bestowed upon us by the Power of His Spirit, we are sons of God and heirs to the Kingdom.

He has redeemed us with the Father, showed us how to act like children of God during our earthly pilgrimage, opened the gates of Heaven, and then sent His Spirit to abide with us as Guide and Teacher.

His Life had many qualities and virtues for us to imitate. He did not come in an arrogant way to show us up as failures. He came as a humble and obedient servant to show us how to live. He told us to follow in His footsteps with courage from His Spirit, and then He promised us that someday we would share in His Glory as we had shared in His Cross.

We must look at the Personality of Jesus and see Him under various circumstances not unlike our own — and then praise Him by imitating Him to the best of our ability.

Editor’s note: This article is from a chapter in Mother Angelica on Christ and Our Ladywhich is available through Sophia Institute Press. 

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Mother Angelica (1923-2016) was a Franciscan nun and founder of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). She remains one of the most popular figures and personalities on Catholic television as well as a powerful witness for Christ.

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