Good teachers work for that moment when they recognize themselves in their students. They spend countless hours trying to be good examples for their apprentices, providing an environment to immerse their students in learning. They hope their disciples go beyond simple imitation to make the teaching their own, building upon the foundation they have been given, and applying that teaching to new situations their teachers had never even imagined.
I can’t say if Jesus experienced that moment of recognition in today’s Gospel as he summoned his twelve disciples. The first one, Peter, would deny knowing him; Judas would betray him; and the others, time and again, would show they weren’t quite Jesus material. For that matter, neither are we, who have received the same commission as those first apostles.We do not need to be perfect. We need only be like Jesus, most especially in this one aspect: When he saw the crowd, he was moved with compassion for them. Click To Tweet
But here is what saves us from giving up on ourselves and on one another as Jesus’s choice for his flock. We do not need to be perfect. We need only be like Jesus, most especially in this one aspect: When he saw the crowd, he was moved with compassion for them. For this reason he calls and sends his disciples.
So let us imitate our teacher as closely as possible in his love for those troubled and alone. If we can be like Jesus in that, we will surely be recognized as his own.