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Thought for the weekend: The many faces of Jesus

By Fr Patrick McCafferty

In the great Christian festivals of the past three weeks, the Saviour of the world is revealed to us, at various stages of the development of His human nature, to declare the Truth of God's infinite love for us.

On Christmas Day, He is God, the vulnerable baby sharing the defencelessness of all tender infants. At Epiphany, He is the King revealed to the Magi as the One to be adored by all the nations.

He is revealed, in His baptism in the River Jordan by St John the Baptist, as the One who fulfils all that was foretold about the beloved and faithful Servant, who would perfectly carry out God's Will.

In the Gospel text heard by many Christians this weekend, Jesus is presented to us as our Spouse, as the Heavenly Bridegroom who, at the wedding feast at Cana, in Galilee, lavishes on us generously the joys that flow from our union with Him, like an abundance of wine at a wedding reception (John 2:1-11).

The perfect scriptural text that gives expression to the spousal nature of God's love for us is The Song of Songs, which begins: "let Him kiss me with kisses of His mouth. Your love is more delightful than wine" (Song of Solomon 1:2).

This is bold, almost shocking language.

Yet, it expresses completely, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the yearning of the human person for intimate communion with the Living God (Ps 42:2). The "kiss" of the mouth of God is His beloved Son.

His Eternal Word, who revives our nature.

He, to us, is the perfect expression of God's unconditional tenderness towards us.

As the father of the prodigal son ran to his errant child and kissed him tenderly, before he could make any excuses for himself, so Jesus makes present to us the compassionate and merciful embrace of His Father and our Father (Cf. Luke 15).

Let us then too, having been so gently received by God, in Jesus Christ, "be merciful and compassionate", just as our Heavenly Father is merciful and kind (Luke 6:36).

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