By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
THIS is a basic duty of ours, a grave responsibility in fact. Without Christ, we would just be on our own, relying simply on our own lights and powers that, no matter how excellent, can never accomplish our real ultimate need—our own salvation, our own completion and perfection as a person, as a child of God.
We have to learn to look for Christ. He is the pattern of our humanity, the redeemer of our damaged humanity. In fact, the goal that we should try to pursue with God’s grace, of course, but also with our own effort is for us to be ‘another Christ,’ a clearly supernatural phenomenon that will require us to be at least open to it and to merit it.
This looking for Christ should be like an instinct, a constant behavior of ours. We have to look for him, 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) We need to do our part in a relationship that is actually initiated by Christ himself. He loves us first before we can love him in return. (cfr. 1 Jn 4,19)
If we don’t yet have this habit of looking for Christ, then it’s time that we start cultivating it and making it a guiding, directing principle of our daily life. We have to exercise our faith, overcome the usual initial awkwardness that we experience, and continue finding ways and means to look for Christ at every moment of the day, especially in our work, and even in our rest.
“Come to me,” “Follow me,” are some of the open invitations Christ is giving us. He continues to issue such invitations. We should not be afraid to go to him and follow him. We have to discover the most wonderful reality that only in Christ can we have our true joy, our genuine peace, our ultimate solution to whatever problem we have.
As far as Christ is concerned, he is always around. In fact, he is already within us. And his presence in us, to be sure, is not simply passive. Toward us, Christ is full of solicitude and concern. He is eager to help. He is never sparing in his mercy for us, knowing that despite our good intentions and best efforts, we often find ourselves at odds with him.
We have to find ways of how to correspond more punctually to Christ’s presence and love for us. Let’s see to it, for example, that even as we wake up in the morning, the first thing we do is to put ourselves in his presence and start to consciously offer the whole day that is just beginning to him.
And in every activity that we do, we should make the effort, at least in our intentions, to offer it to him, and to begin and end the activity with him. For this we have to conquer some of the usual spoilers that would make us think that we are getting too serious, too unmanly, or even getting inhuman. You can be sure that those thoughts are not true and must come most probably from our human weaknesses if not from the devil himself.
It would also help that we have a systematic way of getting to know Christ more and more. Let’s remember that we can never him know enough, no matter how much we have studied his life and words. Christ is never just a historical figure nor a literary character nor social or cultural icon. He is God made man to save us.