Christ as front and center

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT is how it should be in our life. We should always keep the centrality of Christ in our life. He is everything to us. In the readings of the 4th Sunday of Easter (May 3), this truth of our faith is highlighted.

“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,” says the responsorial psalm. The second reading from 1 Peter 2 tells us to follow Christ who was patient in his suffering and bore all our sins. And the gospel has Christ saying, “I am the gate for the sheep…whoever enters through me will be saved…” (Jn 10)

We need to develop the instinct of always looking for Christ, making him alive in our life and patterning our life after his. This business of always looking for Christ is a basic duty of ours, a grave responsibility, in fact. Without him, we would just be on our own, relying simply on our own light and powers that, no matter how excellent, can never accomplish our real ultimate need of our own salvation, our own perfection as a person and as a child of God.

We need to look for Christ so we can find him, and in finding him, we can start to love and serve him which is what we are expected to do to be ‘another Christ.’ This has basis on what Christ himself said: “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you…” (Mt 7,7)

And finding him means that we make Christ alive in our life. He is not just a historical figure. Let’s remember that before he went up to heaven, he promised the coming of the Holy Spirit who would bring to us everything that Christ did and said. More than that, the Holy Spirit brings Christ alive in us.

We just have to exercise our faith to the hilt. With it we enter into a reality that goes beyond what we simply can see and touch and understand. With it we can feel at home even with the mysteries which, by the way, abound in our life since we are not confined only to the sensible and material realities. Our world includes the spiritual and the supernatural.

Exercising our faith means constantly dealing with the Holy Spirit. Dealing with the Holy Spirit involves certain requirements, like deepening our knowledge of the truths of our faith by meditating on the gospel, studying the catechism, following the teachings of the Pope, etc.

It also involves constant spiritual struggle against our weaknesses, temptations and sins. It certainly involves developing virtues so that we gradually can be more perceptive of the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

And being more aware of Christ in our life, we can start patterning our life to his. For this, we need to know very well the life of Christ. We have to try to discern what Christ is telling us in each event of his life, what he is trying to teach us with his words, deeds, reactions.

We have to know what his mission was here on earth, for that also should be our mission. We have to expect to experience what Christ also experienced, although in different ways and forms.

We have to have the very mind of Christ, the very identity of his, to such an extent that with St. Paul, we can say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2,20)

When we make our plans for our life, let us be more active in conforming our plans with the spirit, will and ways of Christ. That’s because, even if we fail to consciously conform our plans to his, Christ on his part will shape it just the same according to the plan he has for each one us.