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Jesus-Feeling Person

Perhaps on our Weekend we got in touch for the first time with the depths of our own feelings and experienced a new level of relationship to others. We discovered God’s radical love for us and that discovery freed our minds and hearts to fathom the depths of our own emotional life and to receive others as our brothers and sisters. The results? A richer emotional life and radical love for others as our new Vision!

Likewise, Jesus was a very feeling person. Often He felt disappointment deep within Himself when He was so misunderstood by those closest to Him. Also, Jesus was sensitive to the vibrations of others’ emotions, and especially their sorrows. He grieved at seeing the widow of Naim burying her only son. Lk 7:11. Tears came to Jesus’ eyes when He learned of Lazarus’ death. “They were close friends,” the Jewish leaders said. “See how much He loved him.” Jn 11:35. We need Jesus as our model of a feeling person, because the human tendency is to take a good quality like being a sensitive, feeling person and push it to an extreme, causing us to be ineffective evangelizers.

Human Way. Once we are opened up to our feelings, we may become oversensitive to any hurts or misfortunes, which we may keep recalling in memory again and again. We may view the sad parts of our lives, such as being misunderstood or simply not appreciated, as very significant moments; they may even make us feel special. We may take pride in the way we understand joys and sorrows. We may even create a style for ourselves which we think others lack. The result is that we may create an image of ourselves as being self-centered and focusing on ourselves. Not a way to live a life of radical love for others or manifest the Christ within us to evangelize others.

Jesus’ Way. While Jesus was called to be a “man of sorrows”, we do not see Him acting out a tragic figure full of melancholy or self-pity. In the same breath that Jesus told His disciples of His coming passion and death, He spoke of His resurrection from the dead. Mk 8:31. He did not hide from His enemies, but courageously encountered them. Jesus did not cling desperately to His disciples for understanding and protection. Rather He tried to support them and prepare them for His coming death. He encouraged them to strengthen one another by loving one another, as He had loved them. Jn 13:33-35 Jesus’ feelings for others were not surface feelings. His deep sensitivity to people enabled Him to read their hearts. So Jesus was sensitive to sensitive people (Lk 7:36ff), but He did not have unrealistic expectations of weak or wounded people. Jn 13:18, 27.

Remedies. First, if we find ourselves consumed by our feelings and as a consequence withdrawing from others, we must go against our feelings and be assertive and focus on action. In fact, we must redouble our efforts and work hard to evangelize our environ-ments. For the sake of our own psychological health and for Jesus Who is counting on us!

Second, let our newly found awareness of our own feelings and our sensitivity to others be our teacher. We must recognize that the Spirit guides us through our deepest, positive feelings; we must learn to discern His prompts or the “enemy” in them. Also, let it create an understanding in us of both the diversity of personality types and their special compulsions and weaknesses, including our own. Such understanding will help us in our work of evangelizing real people with real flaws.

Third, radical love is not blind. We cannot live in denial of reality: Not everyone is lovable. We must take such difficult people to our inner center and pray for divine help to meet the challenge of accepting patiently their weaknesses and character flaws, and to love them anyway—despite our feelings. We cannot allow peoples’ arrogance or self-centeredness to diminish our capacity to love them. That’s radical love!