Our need to be with Christ

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

CHRIST said it very clear, in no unclear terms. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk 11,23) There’s no ifs and buts about this ideal that is meant for us.

We have to realize very deeply that we need to be with Christ if we want to achieve the fullness of our dignity as a person and as a child of God. This should be the main concern of our life. And so, we need to be wary of our tendency to get entangled with other concerns which, while having their validity, would mean nothing if not referred to our need for Christ.

Let’s remember that Christ is the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity. We should always be aware that the most important thing in our life is to be with Christ. In fact, it is not only to be like Christ, but rather to be “another Christ,” if not “Christ himself.”

We have to overcome whatever would put doubt about this basic truth about ourselves. Like, does not this kind of understanding about ourselves undermine our freedom? Or can we truly be “another Christ”? Is that ever possible, doable?

We have to repeat to ourselves this basic truth that we have been made by God in his image and likeness. We are meant to be sharers of his divine life and of his divine nature.

That may sound incredible, indeed! But that is what we can get if we look closely at how he created us, endowing us with intelligence and will, and gifting us with his grace, and at how he re-created us or saved us after our original dignity was damaged by our sin.

Yes, out of amazement, we can echo what is said in the Letter to the Hebrews: “What is man that you are mindful of him, a son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” (2,6-8)

This realization about ourselves should, of course, humble us and fill us with joy and thanksgiving, even as it should also urge us to do everything we can, with the grace of God, to pursue the ideal.

This will be a lifelong quest for us, and even if we may not be able to perfectly achieve that goal in our lifetime, we should not worry, since it will be Christ himself, with his goodness and mercy, who will bring everything to completion and perfection.

As St. Paul said, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1,6) On our part, what is expected is just to go along with Christ’s work on us as best that we can. That is why we need to be with him, if not to be “another Christ” or “Christ himself.”

With Christ, we can somehow do things that are impossible for us to do if we would just do them by ourselves alone. Remember what St. Paul also said: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4,13)

Let’s put our mind and heart in this pursuit to be “another Christ,” if not, “Christ himself.”

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com