Excerpt 6
Heart of Jesus, In Whom
the Father Was Well Pleased

TO DO  the will of God and thus to please Him is the purpose of human life. To do so when the will of God binds under mortal sin is necessary for salvation; to do so in all things which God commands or desires is Christian perfection. Jesus, Who not only taught us the ways of salvation but also showed us the ways of perfection, always did the things most pleasing to His heavenly Father. The Father was pleased with Him and gave solemn expression to His pleasure. He will be pleased with us also if we follow in the footsteps of our Divine Saviour.
The Father Pleased
While St. John was preaching penance on the banks of the Jordan our blessed Saviour was among those who approached him asking for the Baptism of penance. John was overwhelmed by the humility of the request and hesitated; he yielded, however, when Jesus said that it was necessary in order to fulfill the Scriptures, that is, the will of the Father. No sooner had Jesus been Baptized than the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and a voice was heard from Heaven, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Mt. 3:17).

As the end of the public life of Jesus approached, at least three Apostles were to be especially fortified for the tests of faith that awaited them in the Passion of our Lord. Therefore Jesus took them with Him to a high mountain. All at once He was transfigured before their eyes. His face shone like the sun and His garments became white as snow; Elias and Moses appeared and spoke with Him. The Apostles were beside themselves with heavenly delight, and Peter thought of building three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elias, and then to dwell there forever. But whilst he was still talking a white cloud overshadowed them and a voice was heard out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear him" (Mt. 17:1 ff.). Overawed, the Apostles fell on their faces, and when Jesus woke them up He stood before them again in the form of His lowliness. The memory of this event, however, lingered on in the Apostles and what it meant for their labors we can gather from what St. Peter wrote about it many years later. They knew that, doing the work of Christ, they were also pleasing to the Father; and even though their lives, like that of their Divine Master, should end in suffering and death, the pleasure of their heavenly Father and the glory of their own transfiguration would be their reward exceedingly great.

Jesus Pleasing the Father
Jesus is pleasing to the Father because He is His Son, "the brightness of his glory and the figure of his substance" (Hebr. 1: 3). In the Divine nature of Jesus the Father sees His own infinite beauty, wisdom, power, and holiness; and in His human nature He sees the most perfect reflection of His love in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the abyss of all virtues and the burning furnace of charity.

Again, the Father cannot but be pleased with Jesus when He receives the infinite glory which Jesus renders Him as the Head of the human race. Even though the least act of the Son of God carries in itself the full and adequate atonement for the sins of the world, nevertheless, in order to glorify the Father so much the more, Jesus offers Himself on the Cross as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Thus Jesus gives to the Father what men had denied Him and, even if they had never sinned, could not have given: infinite homage and glory.

Notwithstanding their sins, God loves men; they are the work of His hands, His children, and He longs to see them saved. Jesus fulfills this desire of the Father. By word and example He shows them the way to the Father and pays the price of their ransom in His Blood. Even after His Ascension He continues in the blessed Eucharist to be their sacrifice and bread of life so as to insure their perseverance on the way of salvation. Must not the Father be pleased with Jesus when He beholds the millions of souls that are and will be with Him in Heaven, saved through the work and the Blood of His Divine Son?

Our Way of Pleasing the Father
Through grace we become the adopted children of God, and the image of the Father is impressed upon our souls. We please the Father by guarding this image and perfecting it through the imitation of Jesus. Hence the Christian, eager to please the Father, will seek the glory of the Father in all things as Jesus did; he will submit to the will of God in all conditions of life, will accept and patiently carry the crosses of life as Jesus did.

In a very special manner we shall be pleasing to the Father, if we love our fellow men because they are the children of God. Love of neighbor is dear to our Blessed Lord. He speaks of it as a new commandment, as a sign by which men would recognize His disciples, and He accepts whatever we do to the least one of our brethren for His sake as done to Him. So intimately are the love of God and the love of neighbor bound together that the one cannot be separated from the other. St. John in a very straightforward way tells us that anyone who says that he loves God, but does not love his neighbor, is a liar and the truth of God is not in him.

We can have no nobler and holier ambition in life than to be pleasing to our Father in Heaven. Whatever may be our condition and state of life, our endowments of body and soul, the successes and failures of our work, one thing always remains possible: to love God and our neighbor. Yet love is the fulfillment of the whole law, all that God expects; love makes us pleasing to the Father.



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