By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IN the gospel, there is an episode where Christ told some unbelieving Jews the reason they could not know who Christ really was. “How long are you going to keep us in suspense?” they asked. “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” (Jn 10,24)
And so, Christ had to tell them directly what was missing in them. “I told you and you do not believe,” he said. “The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” (Jn 10,25-27)
Lest we think there are some of us who do not belong to Christ’s sheepfold, we have to clarify that all of are meant to be among the sheep of Christ. The problem is that some of us, for one reason or another, choose not to be part of that sheepfold. And that can happen when in spite of everything that God through Christ in the Holy Spirit has shown, given and enabled us, we refuse to believe in him.
It’s a matter of whether we have faith or not, a faith that first of all is given to us by God himself but to which we have to correspond also. And that is where the problem lies. We often fail to do our part insofar as faith in Christ is concerned.
Many times, we just rely on what our senses and, at most, our intelligence can show us, as if they are the ultimate guide for us to know the truth of things in general, let alone, the truth about God, about Christ, etc.
We fail to realize that it is God who defines everything since he is first of all the Creator of all things. And even if we messed up his creation because of our sin, he has precisely sent us his Son who became man just to be with us and offer us “the way, the truth, and the life” that is proper to us.
The thing is for us to correspond to the faith God is sharing with us, we need to humble ourselves to be able to enter into the spiritual and supernatural character of this faith. We need to free ourselves from what practically can be considered as our enslavement to our human ways of knowing that rely simply on our senses and other human faculties.
We, of course, have to use these faculties, and in fact, we have to use them to the hilt. But they need to be guided always by faith. Without this guidance of faith, there is no way our senses and our other human faculties can capture the objective reality of God and of how everything else has to be seen, understood and used.
We have to be wary of our strong tendency to simply be guided by our human ways. Especially to those who appear to be quite gifted intellectually and in the other human faculties, the need to humble themselves would be great so that the workings of faith can be properly received and corresponded to.
This is how we can recognize the voice of Christ who is actually the pattern of our humanity and the savior of that humanity that has been damaged by our sin. Only with Christ can we see, understand and use things properly. Only with him can we be brought back to our original and ultimate dignity as children of God, his image and likeness, sharers of his divine life and nature!