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THE RIGHT ROLE MODEL

Father Francis's picture
Fourth Week of Lent

Is. 49:8-15 & Jn. 5:17-30

A desolate cry is heard in today's first reading, “The Lord has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.” This is so untrue! The Lord is quick to reassure us and could there be a warmer response? “Does a mother forget the baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son of her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you.”

Child psychologists often speak of the importance of good role models in personality development because they help to give children a good start in life. Today's Gospel reading indicates that even Jesus had a role model.

Listen once more to what He said, "I tell you most solemnly, the Son can do nothing by Himself, He can do only what He sees the Father doing, and whatever the Father does the Son does too." This simply means that Jesus had chosen God the Father to be the pattern for His life. If the right role model was important in His experience, surely it must also be in ours. It is not enough for us to learn the truth in theory, we need also to see it in practice.

Heroes these days are pretty hard to find. People whom we used to look up to have had their pedestals kicked from under them. We become cynical and disillusioned. Yet we need someone to admire and to inspire us. So where do we look? There is one person who will never let us down. He has stood the test of 2,000 years, admired and loved by millions around the world.

That person is Jesus Whose life was modelled on that of His Father, for "the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does Himself." If we want to be true disciples of Jesus we must model ourselves on Him. That is what the saints did and their example gives us something to which we should aspire.

When we look around for role models we find that the people we admire the most are those who most closely resemble Jesus … honest, generous and compassionate. They are people we can trust. Like Jesus, they do not seek to do their own will but to do the will of our heavenly Father. We are all called upon to be role models, helping and encouraging each other.

Just as Jesus did what He saw the Father doing, we must try to do what we have seen the Son doing. Most of us will never be heroes but we can lead the kind of lives and be the kind of people that others can believe in and from whom they can take inspiration.

Lord Jesus, may we follow You more closely, for in copying You we honour the Father, as You did.

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