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ajohnthebaptistToday takes it’s cue somewhat from yesterday’s entry. In the book of Jesuit prayers entitled Hearts on Fire, there is a prayer written by Pedro Arrupe, who was the beloved Superior General (world leader) of the Society of Jesus for 18 years (1965-1983) -a long term of office for anyone! His prayer gives a clue of how to bring the Scriptures alive in our daily journey, helping us to take our cue from Christ’s interaction with all sorts of people as he opened himself to all who crossed his path.

Teach me your way of looking at people: as you glanced at Peter after his denial, as you penetrated the heart of the rich young man and the hearts of your disciples. I would like to meet you as you really are, since your image changes with whom you come into contact.

Remember John the Baptist’s first meeting with you? And the centurion’s feeling of unworthiness? And the amazement of all those who saw miracles and other wonders? How you impressed your disciples, the rabble in the Garden of Olives, Pilate and his wife and the centurion at the foot of the cross…

I would like to hear and be impressed by your manner of speaking, listening, for example, to your discourse in the synagogue in Capharnaum (Capernaum), or the Sermon on the Mount where your audience felt you “taught as one who has authority.” (p.89-90)

What would it be like to imitate Christ’s words and actions in all our encounters? Would we come to better understand how to love our neighbors (whoever they might be) as ourselves? Perhaps a visit to all the above examples in the life of Jesus would give us some clues to the requisite qualities of welcome, willingness and acceptance necessary to him in the different situations and personalities he met on his way.