“The Emotions of Christ”
There are times when many of us may find the pressures from unwanted experiences of everyday life too overbearing creating depression or other similar maladies. Emotions are normal; some can be bitter while others may lift us up in a realm of ecstasy. Jesus experienced many emotions during his ministry and looking at some of them may parallel yours and mine.
Death of a loved one always brings out some of the most grievous feelings a human can endure. Grief from this loss may stay for years, or never leave. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, where have you laid him. They said to him, Sir come and see. And Jesus wept.” (Jn. 1: 32 - 35). Emotion = Grief.
Someone does not trust in your friendship and counters every statement you utter which can become frustrating. “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written; I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed; but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you into Galilee.” Peter said to him in reply, “though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” Jesus said him, Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” (Mt. 26: 31-34). Emotion = Frustration.
We live at a time where there appears to be greed on every avenue of life. Although our intentions lie in treating others equally, the ultimate results of honest commerce are barraged with many attempting every conceivable effort to get more than they earn. St. Paul exhorts to Timothy “Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.”
(1 Timothy 6: 9 - 10). Emotion = cf Disgust.
Working towards a successful living and at times wearing yourself out, even for a positive end can cause us to feel completely spent physically and emotionally. The efforts are rewarding, but it can take a toll on our bodies and minds. “The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.” One of many instances where the demands on Jesus to heal, feed, and forgive grew to enormous proportions. His work as he ministered to the needs of people is like us overworking, yet when we are able we must concede and give what we can. Emotion = Exhaustion.
One endearing act that we as Christians can try to accomplish is pleasing God. No matter how much we pray, give alms, and fast we must always try to please God first. There can be instances when our intentions are done out of repetition without understanding the very essence that underlies these attributes. “While he was still speaking behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Mt. 17: 5). Emotion = Joy in pleasing God.
With all the insurrection going on in the world and even disturbing events in our own families it is often difficult for some people to come to grips with mistrust, not able to embrace one another and tell them “I forgive.” “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5: 43 - 48). Emotion = Forgiveness.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Emotions October 2021