By Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE have to be clear about this point. We are meant to assume the identity of Christ. And that is not a gratuitous, baseless assertion, much less, a fiction or a fantasy. It is founded on a fundamental truth of our faith that we have been created by God in his own image and likeness.
And this truth of faith has been vividly shown to us since it is acted out in the whole history and economy of salvation that culminated in Christ offering his life and his very own self as the Bread of Life so we can have the eternal life with him, and so that he and us can be one.
This history and economy of our salvation is still an ongoing affair insofar as we are concerned. We have to work it out so we can have our salvation or the perfection and completion of our humanity.
Of course, insofar as Christ is concerned, it’s already a done deal. He assures us of our salvation as long as we go along with him. We have to understand that it is only in him and with him when we can have the perfection and completion of our humanity, or when we can truly be God’s image and likeness as he wants us to be.
And this going along with Christ involves nothing less than us assuming the very identity and life of Christ. This point can be proven by the fact that Christ did not only offer us a Way so we can follow him, nor a Truth so we can know him, at least intellectually, but rather a Life so that he and us can truly be one.
We have to arrive at that point where we can make St. Paul’s words as our own too: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.” (Gal 2,20)
We just have to learn to set aside whatever difficulty or awkwardness we may have in dealing with this basic truth of faith about ourselves. We have to try our best to know Christ and to adapt his very own mind and will, his own ways, behavior and reactions to whatever situation we may find ourselves in.
What is also clear is that Christ is actually already living with us. He is in us as the pattern and perfecter of our humanity, and the savior of our damaged humanity. We just have to learn to live with Christ. He is never far or indifferent to us. Even in our miserable and wounded condition, he continues to be with us, showing us with greater solicitude. It’s rather us who tend to ignore and contradict him.
So let’s know Christ more and more by meditating on the gospel where his life and teachings can be found. Let’s master the doctrine of our faith. Let’s avail of the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, where Christ makes himself Bread of Life for us to eat so that even while here on earth, we can already enjoy the eternal life promised by him.
Let’s start reinforcing our awareness that we are Christ, each one of us. It would not be a psychological anomaly. If we assume the identity of Christ, then like Christ we would be humble, merciful, patient, and ever concerned about the salvation of mankind.