Jesus, our model

The Gospels often record the feelings and words of admiration that the Lord provoked in his years here on earth: the people were amazed, all were astonished at the wonders he performed.... And "among the many praises that were said of Jesus by those who contemplated his life, there is one that in a certain way includes them all. I am referring to that exclamation, full of accents of astonishment and enthusiasm, which the crowd spontaneously repeated as they witnessed his miracles in amazement: bene omnia fecit (Mk 7:37), he has done everything admirably well: the great wonders, and the small, everyday things, which dazzled no one, but which Christ accomplished with the fullness of one who is perfectus Deus, perfectus homo (Quicumque Symbol), perfect God and perfect man".

The Gospel of the Mass invites us to consider this passage in which those who followed the Lord cannot but exclaim: He has done all things well. Christ is presented to us as a model for our daily life, and it can help us to examine whether we can say that we try to do all things well, the great and the seemingly unimportant, because we want to imitate Christ.

Most of Jesus' human existence was an ordinary life of work in a hitherto unknown town. And there, in Nazareth, the Lord also did everything thoroughly, with human perfection. In Nazareth it would be said of Jesus that he was a good carpenter, the best they had ever known.

A good part of the life of every man and woman is shaped by the reality of work, and it is difficult to find a responsible person who - of his or her own free will - is without occupation or employment. Many feel moved to work for noble human purposes: to support the family, to build a better future..., there are also those who dedicate themselves to a task for the desire to put into practice and develop a particular skill or hobby, or to contribute to the good of society, because they feel the responsibility to do something for others. Many others work for less noble purposes: wealth, ambition, power, to affirm their own worth, to obtain what is necessary to satisfy their passions. We know competent people who work long hours conscientiously for purely human ends. The Lord wants those who follow him in the midst of the world to be people who work well, with prestige, competent in their profession or trade, without shoddiness; very different people, who move for noble human ends and because work -whatever it may be- is the means where we must exercise human and supernatural virtues. ... for "we know that by the oblation of their work to God, men associate themselves with the redemptive work of Jesus Christ himself, who gave work a super-eminent dignity by working with his own hands in Nazareth.

We tell the Lord that we want to make an exemplary example of our work-particularly our work-because we earnestly desire it to be a daily offering that reaches him, and because we are determined to imitate him in those years of hidden life in Nazareth.