Whenever [Jesus] did something extraordinary, the people of that village wanted to put him up on a pedestal and make him a king. At those moments, he always left the town or region he was in. Why? Because Jesus didn’t want people to fall down helplessly before him and worship him. He was, of course, worthy of worship, but he wanted the highest form of worship: Jesus wanted people to imitate him. He didn’t come to solve all our problems; he came to show us the way. He came to show us that when we cooperate with God and with each other we become vessels of light and love.
If Jesus experienced this difficulty, this pedestal syndrome, we shouldn’t be surprised that those who have been fully transformed in Christ experience a similar problem.
The great danger is that veneration can become more important than imitation. When this happens, our devotion to the saints becomes hollow and borders on superstition. There is also a temptation to simply respect the saints from a distance, instead of following their example, studying the wisdom of their lives, and applying their lessons to our own lives.
Copyright © 2010 Beacon Publishing, Used with permission.
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