MASTER AS MENTOR AND MODEL
Sr. Veritas Grau, FSP
(Second of a
series on Alberionian metaphors for Jesus Master)
must seek with all their strength to translate into life the examples and
teachings of Christ.
A favorite metaphor
that Blessed James Alberione uses for Jesus Master is that of mentor and model.
We have only
to look at his prayers for this to be clear. "Jesus, in you the Father
was well pleased; you are my model. Jesus, you are the Way I must follow;
the perfect model I must imitate. When I come before you at the judgment I
want to be found configured to you." What does Jesus mean by being a
model? It is not simply external imitation but configuration. We are not to
dress like Jesus, speak like him, resemble him physically, be of the same
sex. Configuration refers to common values, a way of thinking.
point to us very clearly how it is to be like Jesus. Many people of his time
were utterly surprised with the new teaching he presented. Why should one
turn the other cheek after receiving the first blow in order to receive a
second one? Was "an eye for an eye" not sufficiently justified?
Moreover, a great majority disagreed with his own style of life. In their
own eyes he was a vagabond, wasting his time in preaching something unacceptable.
And what does
it mean when we speak of Jesus as a mentor? It means that we accept Jesus
as guide to fullness of life. It requires a gradual process to acquire the
mentality of Jesus; to live according to his values, to live according to
The world today,
especially young people, are groping for models and mentors. They find in
movie stars, singers, sports personalities and other celebrities. They pass
through a stage of slavish, external imitation. They are even blinded to the
misgivings and character flaws of their heros. They also try to live according
to their idol's ideals of life, which, when examined profoundly, do not satisfy
the spirit within.
When this spirit
in them yearns for something more solid, they seek models and mentors elsewhere,
perhaps in Eastern religions and their gurus. Sometimes if their longings
are not satisfied, they end up in frustration and utter defeat.
Why is it so
difficult to accept what Alberione holds out in one of his prayers?
Divine Master, we adore you as the Beloved of the Father, the sole Way to
him. We thank you because you have made yourself our model. You left us examples
of the highest perfection. You have invited us to follow you on earth and
you in the various periods of your earthly life. We docilely place ourselves
in your school and follow your teachings. Draws us to you so that by following
in your footsteps and renouncing ourselves, we may seek only your will..."
Could it be
that we cannot convince people of the validity of our model and mentor because
we, his followers, do not take him as model and mentor of our own lives?