|Excerpts from JESUS NEEDS ME|
|Mother M. Angelica
Christian is "a letter from Christ" to the world, "written not
with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God," written, "not on
stone tablets but in their living hearts." (2 Cor. 3:2-3)
Every retarded, deformed, crippled, handicapped, or senile person, who has been baptized, is a powerhouse for good in a wicked world by reason of the grace of God that dwells in his soul. He need not understand or be able to explain that grace. It is enough that he possess it and his presence in the world makes that world and everyone in it better for his having been born, even though he himself may have little communication with that world, for he is a vessel that carries the light of the living God in a dark world.
The aged and lonely, whose lives are considered useless because they cannot produce at their fullest capacity, are veritable dynamos of spiritual energy when their souls possess the Presence of the Trinity through grace, their minds possess the wisdom that comes from experience and their spirits possess the serenity of those who have fought the good fight and wait with joy for the call of the Master.
There are no barriers for Christians who work together with their Leader Christ, for the good of all. Each one is an important and precious part of the whole. Rich and poor, sick and healthy, young and old, illiterate and genius all work together in the Divine Presence which dwells in each one as in a living Temple.
Jesus needs them all, as some build by teaching, some repair by repentance, some make reparation by suffering, some enhance by joy, some guide by ministering, some heal by caring, some provide by working and some enliven by loving. Whatever is their portion, the Christian is light, a beacon and an integral part of the Mystical Body of Christ.
No Christian needs to feel lonely or useless. He does not look for applause and approval. The realization of bearing within his very soul the Divine Indwelling of Father, Son and Holy Spirit makes each one a powerful tool for the salvation of the world. Each Christian is a powerhouse of grace reaching out and touching a neighbor by example and prayer. He is powerful no matter where he is or what he does, for the power he possesses is not his own, but the Power of Him who dwells within and in whom he "lives and moves and has his being."
We are part of the Body of Christ on earth and we affect that Body by everything we do and everything we are.
A broken heart fills that Body with a throbbing loneliness. A smile makes it happy. A joy makes it thrill and a pain makes it cry.
Sin makes it recoil in contortions of rejection and holiness builds it up to renewed vigor. Grace is its life-giving blood, constantly renewing dead cells and revitalizing healthy members. The Head of the Body is Christ and to each of us He has given a function to perform, a part to play and a position to hold.
Each one of us is vital to the proper functioning of the whole body and though our particular duty is unseen and unheralded, the whole body would suffer without us.
We need Jesus, but He also needs us. It is not because we can add anything to Him that He needs us, for He is Infinite in all His Perfections. He needs us because He wills to do so; He wills that we cooperate with Him for the salvation of the world. Through our neighbor He reaches out and says, "I need you."
"I need your words of comfort in my sorrow, your assurance when I am sick, your hope when I am discouraged and your love when the world grows cold—for what you do to the least, you do to Me."
St. Paul lay on the ground struck with terror when he first heard his Lord say, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" (Acts 9:4)
"Who are You, Lord?" Paul answered. Yes, he knew the voice whose power knocked him off his horse was the voice of God, but the God Paul knew was only one God, Creator of the Universe, Creator and Lord of men, to be obeyed and feared.
Paul was confused. "Lord," he was compelled to say, but who was this Lord? And then Paul had his first encounter with God—made—man—Jesus—Second Person of the Holy Trinity. His whole concept of God was about to be changed. He was made to realize that his God lived in his neighbor. He would soon be aware of that Presence when he was baptized by Ananias and the Holy Spirit filled his soul with grace and light. "I will show him," Jesus told Ananias, "how much he must suffer for my Name."
And so it was with Peter. Jesus said to him after the Resurrection, "Feed My lambs; feed My sheep." (Jn. 21:17) Jesus needed Peter and all the Apostles to lay the foundations of a new way of life—a life totally given to God, a life of joy and sacrifice, a life of love for one's neighbor.
Jesus needed their martyrdom to witness to the power of His Name. He gave them power to heal, to reveal His concern for the sick. He gave them power to cast out demons and share His pity for poor sinners. He gave them power to endure pain and to rejoice that they might give hope to others.
Jesus needed these men and every facet of their lives to help save the world. Jesus redeemed us by His life, suffering and death. He needed these men and many others who followed them to teach, proclaim, endure and to rejoice.
Jesus needed John—needed him to care for His Mother when the time came for Him to return to the Father. "Seeing His Mother and the disciple He loved standing near her, Jesus said to His Mother, 'Woman, this is your son.' Then to the disciple He said, 'This is your mother.' And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home. (Jn. 19:26,27)
Jesus needed Mary, from whose Immaculate Body He took His Humanity. He needed the strong and gentle Joseph to protect Him and His Mother during their earthly sojourn.
Jesus needed them all because Love reaches out for companionship, not in order to receive but to give—not to add anything to Himself, but because He wants us to experience the Joy of being of service and of being united to a loving, kind and good God.
Jesus Needs My Service
God created each one of us with a definite purpose in His Infinite Mind. Though He always sees a panoramic view of our entire lives, this knowledge does not prevent Him from seeking our wills and hearts.
When our neighbor needs us, it is because we have something to give him that he does not already possess. The thing we have to give may not be tangible, but we can fulfill a need none the less.
With God it is different. Everything we have in body, soul, talents and possessions is a gift from Him. What we do give Him in these areas is no gift at all for we already belong to Him.
It then becomes necessary for us to render to our neighbor those things we cannot render to God, and in the same manner as God gives His gifts to us. We must render them gratuitously and unselfishly, not because our neighbor deserves our benefits, but solely because we want to imitate the Father.
Whether the service we render is tangible, like food and clothing, or intangible, like love, prayer, compassion and patience, we need to do to our neighbor the services we cannot do to God. That is why Jesus will say on the last day, "I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me." (Matt. 25:40)
Jesus Needs My Weakness
"Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:27) Strong language for a Savior, a Redeemer, One who was to deliver us from evil!
The Cross was a scandal then and it is today. We must, however, understand that it is not so much a scandal as a mystery—a mystery that we shall never fathom in this life. We do not understand unselfish love—love that wants nothing more than to be like the Beloved—love that seeks for union of mind, heart and will—love that says, "Do not fear. I, too, have had pain, persecution, suffering, poverty and hunger. Look, I show you how to endure. I show you how to pray, how to forgive, how to love, how to be at peace, how to unite your will to the Father's no matter how difficult."
He emptied Himself that we might be filled—filled, not for our sakes alone, but for the sake of our neighbor. He showed us how to accept indifference—during His Infancy. He showed us how to accept loneliness—during His Hidden Life. He showed us how to accept success—by His attitude to the crowds proclaiming Him King. He showed us how to accomplish God's Will in the Agony in the Garden. He showed us how to accept pain, insults and death—on the Cross.
This was a sign of His love for His Father and for us and this too is our witness to the world. "Rejoice when men persecute you," He said. Over and over He told us not to be afraid for He had conquered the world. He conquered—not by changing it, but by changing the men who lived in it.
He gave up everything for us. He wants His disciples to do the same. Privation was part of His witness—it must be part of ours. And He instructed His followers to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but He added, "Do not take a spare tunic." (Mark 6:8,9)
Our witness is not to be healthy, wealthy and wise, but to accept whatever Providence sends our way with joy of heart and peace of mind—sickness or health, poverty or riches, success or failure. Our witness is to be truly free—free in mind, with no resentments to disturb us; free in heart with no attachments to hamper us; free in body, living in self-control; and free in spirit, ever seeking union with God and His Honor and Glory.
Jesus Needs My Love
His desire that we be "so completely one with Him" has a ring of urgency, a burning desire that we love Him as much as He loves us. When two people love each other, that very love proves to everyone that they belong together. Love proves that certain individuals in our lives are friends and a lack of it proves that other people are merely acquaintances or even enemies.
Love proves its power by melting icy hearts, giving assurance, changing personalities, instilling joy and promoting a feeling of well-being that nothing else accomplishes.
Love proves that we care—care enough to sacrifice for the good of another. Love needs to prove itself; it strains to give proof of its intensity and is ingenious in its way of providing that proof.
The proof that comes from true love is hidden and unnoticed by the one who possesses it. The reason for this is that the person who loves God deeply and continues to love Him is so busy loving, he is not aware of his witness—the witness is the fruit of a deep love, not the cause of that love.
Jesus changes us into a beautiful image of Himself through the Power of the Holy Spirit living in our hearts.
Jesus Needs Me
Everything Jesus asks of us demands our trust.
The Beatitudes are eight steps to trust, for it takes great trust to believe and live by a principle that says the poor will possess a kingdom and the persecuted should rejoice.
It takes trust to realize that even though everything seems to be falling apart, somehow the broken pieces are in His Hands and He will put them all back together.
It takes trust to see suffering and realize that God is pruning those He loves and Jesus Himself suffers in them.
It takes trust to pray long and hard and not receive the answer you expected.
It takes trust to realize that God will turn our weaknesses to our good as long as we make sincere effort to overcome them.
It takes trust to realize that the death of a loved one happened at the best time of his life.
It takes trust to leave everyone and everything in God's Hands without worry.
All of our lives we need to trust Him and that trust will radiate like the rays of the sun, touching everyone we meet.
The trust that Jesus demands of His followers appears almost impossible and this very fact proves that only God would demand an heroic trust.
He asked us not to worry about tomorrow and the sight of that kind of trust lifts up the heart of our neighbor.
He asked us to dance for joy when we are persecuted because when we do, we show our neighbor there is a better world beyond and in that place our treasure lies.
He asked us to do the Father's Will with complete trust in the Wisdom of His plan. The sight of this kind of trust is powerful enough to give courage to our neighbor in the most trying circumstances.
He asked us to be meek and humble of heart so we would find rest for our souls; the serenity that is the fruit of that self-control becomes the envy of the world.
Every Christian is important—important to God, to the world and to the Kingdom.
Radiant Light Of Jesus
To be the radiant light of Jesus is the mission of each Christian. Like the twinkle of a single star on a dark night, the Christian must give light and hope and raise the minds and hearts of all people to the Love and Mercy of God as Father and Lord.
The Christian's constant effort towards becoming a perfect copy of Jesus gives his neighbor hope. It fills him with a deep realization that there is an invisible reality strong enough to overcome every temptation, rise above every indignity, bear every cross and sustain joy no matter what happens.
Jesus needs that copy, that Christian, to help radiate His Power and Personality to the world. Paul put it beautifully when he said, "God makes us, in Christ, partners of His triumph and through us is spreading the knowledge of Himself, like a sweet smell everywhere." (2 Cor. 2:14) "We are Christ's incense to God...You are a letter from Christ...drawn up by the Spirit of the living God." "We are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us." (2 Cor. 5:21)
We are to radiate Jesus and the rays of that light will shine to the ends of the earth and envelope every nation and its people, because we work together with Jesus for the salvation of all mankind.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3)
Electronic Copyright © 1999 EWTN
Provided Courtesy of: