Aim: To encounter, know and love Jesus, in his acts of gentleness, mercy and compassion.
With children (Mk 10:13-16): People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it”. And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
With sinners (Mt 9:9-13): As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me”. And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’. For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners”.
In LEW 124-126, reflecting on the gentleness of Jesus in relationship with people, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort writes:
“Poor people and little children followed him everywhere, seeing him as one of their own. The simplicity, the kindliness, the humble courtesy and the charity they witnessed in our dear Saviour made them press close about him. One day, when he was preaching in the streets, the children who were usually about him, pressed upon him from behind. The apostles who were nearest to our Lord pushed them back. On seeing this Jesus rebuked his apostles and said to them, ‘Do not keep the children away from me’ (Mt 19:14). When they gathered about him, he embraced and blessed them with gentleness and kindness”.
“The poor, on seeing him poorly dressed and simple in his ways, without ostentation or haughtiness, felt at ease with him. They defended him against the rich and the proud when these calumniated and persecuted him, and he in his turn praised and blessed them on every occasion”.
“But how to describe the gentleness of Jesus in his dealings with poor sinners: his gentleness with Mary Magdalene, his courteous solicitude in turning the Samaritan woman from her evil ways, his compassion in pardoning the adulterous woman taken in adultery, his charity in sitting down to eat with public sinners in order to win them over? Did not his enemies seize upon his great kindness as a pretext to persecute him, saying that his gentleness only encouraged others to transgress the law of Moses, and tauntingly called him the friend of sinners and publicans? With what kindness and concern did he not try to win over the heart of Judas who had decided to betray him, even when Jesus was washing his feet and calling him his friend! With what charity he asked God his Father to pardon his executioners, pleading their ignorance as an excuse”.
“[…] How loving and gentle Jesus is with people, and especially with poor sinners, whom he came upon earth to seek out in a visible manner, and whom he still seeks in an invisible manner every day”.
Personal Reflection and Sharing
What comes to my mind as I reflect on the way Jesus “captivates” the hearts of people?
How do I personally feel captivated by the love of Jesus today?