It seems to me there is a way of reading the gospel accounts of Your life and still missing the point. We marvel at the stories of Your miracles. We are overcome with admiration of Your simple yet powerful way of preaching and using parables. We are curiously fascinated with Your attitude towards the poor and sinners, and we envy Your masterful handling of the religious hypocrites. But if we stop at this, we have totally missed the point. The imitation of You is not about imitating the external actions and movements of Your life. I will never perform miracles or preach and tell stories or confound the wicked as You did - or will I?
The gospel message is not the message of imitating the externals of Your life, but rather to look at Your heart in each one of these episodes and to imitate that! The gospel message is not the astounding suspension of natural law in a miracle but the love and compassion for another being on his/her own journey just as we all are. Its message is not the wit, the spellbinding aura, nor the incontrovertible logic of what You say, but the painfully intense longing and desire to draw all life to the Father. It’s not the fact that You traveled with, ate and drank with, and were housed by the ragtag fringes of Your society, but that their being, their worth was precisely the same as anyone’s though their road was through unsought snares and curves thus making their efforts more precious. Nor is it the slick, hip, or just plain clever manner in which You irrefutably called a spade a spade in the faces of those who called it something else and spent lives trying to promulgate that fabrication, but rather Your voracious hunger born out of love for truth. In all cases it was not the letter of what You did that was the lesson, but the spirit - the heart. And it is in this regard that I dare to wonder about my own ability to perform miracles, preach, teach, guide, and be compassionate to all; not because I could not generate such actions, but because I have not Your heart.