Let’s be united with Christ always

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

KNOWING who we really are—that is, that we are image and likeness of God, sharers of his divine life and nature, having been patterned after Christ—we need to realize that we are meant to be united with God always through Christ in the Holy Spirit.

We are reminded of this truth of our faith in that gospel parable where Christ said that “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you.” (Jn 15,1-4)

We need to realize more deeply that Christ, being the vine, is always with us. He is where we are attached to just as branches are attached to the vine. But we need to be fruitful, otherwise we would be taken away. It’s also good to note that Christ has given us everything so that we would be fruitful. He has pruned us with his word so that we can precisely be fruitful.

The challenge we have to face and tackle is how we can always be aware that we are actually united with Christ and be faithful to him by following his word and example, so that we can keep ourselves being united to him.

For this, we need to avail of some means that would help us to be always in his presence, aware and desirous to do his will and ways, even as we immerse ourselves in all our temporal and earthly affairs.

We have to be most wary of our strong tendency to do just our own will without relating it to Christ’s will. That would constitute as sheer self-indulgence that will shortly fizzle out just as a branch cannot live long when detached from the vine, the giver and source of life and fruitfulness.

Thus, we need to make several pauses during the day so that we can recover and keep our presence of God all day long, and put ourselves in the proper condition to carry out God’s will.

We have to learn how to resist being swallowed up and trapped in our temporal affairs which nowadays can be very irresistible and absorbing. We have to sharpen our awareness that our life is meant to be a shared life with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Yes, our life, whether considered in its purely natural aspect or in its supernaturally oriented spiritual dimension, that is, particularly our Christian life, is by definition a shared life.

We need to develop the skills not only to protect and keep this property of our life, but also to continually reinforce and enhance it. That’s because our life is always a dynamic affair, with new challenges and changing circumstances.

We cannot remain naïve and think that our life more or less would just automatically be a shared life. Some people say so, because they claim we cannot avoid sharing our life with others.

To a certain extent, that assertion is true. But neither can we be blind to the fact that we and the world in general have ways, often subtle and deceptive, that effectively annul this shared characteristic of our life.

We just have to be keenly aware that whatever situation we find ourselves in, Christ always has something to say, and we just have to follow it.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com