Jesus Christ is the Second person in the Trinity. What images come to mind when you pray to Jesus?
The following prayer is often prayed at the end of a longer prayer:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen
The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus came into the world as a baby, by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born to Mary. He came to show us the way to the Father and give us Salvation. The image of Jesus as a baby reflects his innocence and humility.
His ministry on earth lasted only three years. He was crucified and died for our sins. His sacrifice for us is called redemptive suffering. He suffered so that we might have eternal life!
When we pray to Jesus it helps to have an image of Him in our mind. There are many images of Jesus. The following reflections on the images of Jesus may help you as you meditate on His life and ask for His guidance as you make your pilgrimage on earth.
Jesus; Rabbi and Teacher
Jesus was considered a teacher and a Rabbi. In this image he is talking to the Woman at the Well. In the culture of His time, it is considered wrong for a man to talk to a woman. But Jesus treats her with respect. When she left she told those she met "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah can he?"
Jesus, Son of the Father
Jesus is known as the Son of God. Jesus speaks of the Father in the following statements.
The following passage is Jesus talking to the Apostles at the Last Supper:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself so that were I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way? Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. If you know me you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him "Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the father is in me, but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do what ever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
Before his death, Jesus prays the following:
"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
John 17: 25-26
Jesus cried aloud: "Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me,. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.
When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist the following happened:
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."
Jesus; Savior and Redeemer
Why did Jesus have to die on a cross for our sins? The mystery of the cross and the suffering of Jesus is called the Paschal Mystery. It is the belief that Jesus brings new life out of death and suffering. Our journey to heaven requires both suffering and death.
It is only through suffering and sacrifice that love is proven.
Jesus death on the cross makes our salvation possible.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
A Shepherd is one who guides and protects. Jesus is often turned to as the Good Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows,. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Jesus the Healer
Jesus was known for healing the sick. He cast out demons, made the lame walk, the mute speak, and the deaf hear. He even raised people from the dead! Both Lazarus and a young girl were healed after they had died.
Jesus cleanses Ten Lepers
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through he region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests," And as they went they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."
Luke 17 11-19
Jesus the Wonder Worker
Jesus shows us several times that he has power over nature. He not only walks on water (Matthew 14:22-33), but he stills the water during a strong storm.
Jesus stills the water
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"
And he said to the, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith!"
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea ant there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"
Sacred Heart of Jesus
The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a powerful reminder that God is Love and Mercy.
The Gift of Love
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions,and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-8
Jesus, Lamb of God
The Jewish people offered animal sacrifices at the temple in atonement for their sins. It was common to offer a lamb or turtle doves. Jesus is considered the final sacrifice. God's own Son!...sent to redeem the world.
John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God when he says "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29