I know that I, as well as probably many other people, use a variety of means to guide ourselves on our spiritual journeys: scripture, spiritual writers, the lives of saints, sermons, retreats, meditations, etc. But John’s gospel for Holy Thursday declares clearly in Your own words all that we need, “... I have given you a model to follow...”
The edifying gift of Your public life is all we need to know and follow. You were about making known, teaching, and doing Your Father’s will.
Love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and understanding were the hallmarks of Your life. You were the servant of others as well as their patient teacher. The way You went about this was with kindness, no prejudice, and great meekness. We do well to follow closely and meditate upon the gospel accounts of Your life, upon Your words, and upon other forms of “the life of Christ,” for in Your life is contained all we need.
The above phrase from John, attributed to You, was spoken in the context of the Last Supper. We may think of it as referring specifically to what You did that night at that supper, but its meaning can be applied to Your whole life.
We do not do badly to imitate the saints and others who have done a pretty good job of following Your model. Nonetheless, Your life itself is the standard. In recognizing that fact, it struck me how few times it is recorded in the gospels that anyone openly and fearlessly did something for You. Two that come foremost to mind were both women: Mary and her perfume, and Veronica and her veil.
You did not expect to “get,” only to give. Such is Your unfathomable love that Your only desire is to give it and have it be accepted. Yet, personified in Mary and Veronica is our desire to give to You; and in this, just as You gave all things to the Father, You are our model in what we give to You. The circle of genuine love always leads back to You.