By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IT caused great astonishment when Christ told his disciples that he was the Bread of Life that they have to eat. “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” was their immediate response. (Jn 6,52)
And so, Christ had to explain what he meant. Only then, he said, would they gain eternal life and be in union with him as they ought to be. But what was also implied in this gospel episode was that just as Christ gave himself to his disciples as the Bread of Life to be eaten, so should we be some kind of Bread of Life to be given to everybody else.
In other words, like Christ we have to give ourselves completely to the others. It’s not just a matter of giving much of ourselves to the others. It is to give ourselves totally to the others.
This should be the mindset we have to develop if we truly want to be like Christ as we should, Christ who is the very pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity.
This task and duty will definitely take our whole life here on earth to develop. And it would surely involve always rectifying our intentions such that whatever we do we do it always for the glory of God. We do it with Christ, in Christ and for Christ.
Yes, we cannot overemphasize this truth of our faith about ourselves. Christ and us are supposed to be one. Christ, for his part, already identifies himself with each one of us. We should correspond by identifying ourselves with him too. Let’s never forget that how Christ was and is should also be how we should be.
We have to realize that this duty is meant to be acted out not only from time to time, but rather all the time. It has to be a moment-to-moment affair. To be sure, it will involve a gradual process, but we should start it as soon as possible.
What can truly help is to take care first of our faith, studying closely the life and example of Christ who did nothing other than to do the will of his Father. That should always be our attitude.
We have to be wary of our tendency to fall to some forms of self-indulgence that can come to us in very subtle ways, because we can trick ourselves into thinking that we are ok just because we are doing a lot of things when what actually is happening is simply indulging on our own interests.
Thus, we always need to rectify our intentions. We have to see to it that everything that we do is for us to look, find and serve Christ, carrying out his will and not ours simply. Better said, we have to make our will conform completely to the will of God as shown to us by Christ.
And if we are truly doing the will of God, then like Christ, we should always be concerned about the salvation of all men, starting with our own selves. We just have to be more wary of the danger of self-indulgence which is a constant threat, especially these days when good and evil are so mixed up that we would mostly likely be left confused and easily taken by sweet poisons that today’s new things readily offer.