We really need to know Christ

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS point may sound obvious and trite, but it’s actually something for us to take seriously. We cannot deny that though we consider ourselves Christians for the longest time already, the fact that there are still many inconsistencies in our life, that we still commit not only honest mistakes but also blatant sins, etc., can only show that we really do not know Christ as we should.

There are all kinds of Christians around—the lax ones and the scrupulous ones, and even Christians who resemble more the Pharisees and scribes of Christ’s time, since we can appear to get stuck with a legalistic Christianity that would lead us to be rigid in our consideration of things and judgmental of people who do not fit our own idea of Christianity.

Because of that frame of mind, we can tend to distance ourselves from those who are not like us, eventually forming ourselves like an elitist tribe. We can become closed minded. We would never take the initiative to reach out to those who are different from us not only in terms of social or academic status, but also and more importantly, in terms of the spiritual and moral differences.

We need to do something drastic about this, because this is not how Christ was and is, and how he wants us to be. We really need to know who Christ is. We have to be clear about this point. We are meant to assume the identity of Christ.

That is not a gratuitous, baseless assertion, much less, a fiction or a fantasy. It is founded on a fundamental truth of our faith that we have been created by God in his own image and likeness. We are meant to be conformed to Christ who as the Son of God is the perfect image God has of his own self.

Since we have been made in the image and likeness of God, we have to understand that we have been patterned after Christ, the Son of God who became man to recover us from our state of alienation from God due to our sin. So, knowing Christ would lead us to know ourselves properly.

We just have to learn to set aside whatever difficulty or awkwardness we may have in dealing with this basic truth of faith about ourselves. We have to try our best to know Christ and to adapt his very own mind and will, his own ways, behavior and reactions to whatever situation we may find ourselves in.

What is also clear is that Christ is actually already living with us. He is in us as the pattern and perfecter of our humanity, and the savior of our damaged humanity. We just have to learn to live with Christ. He is never far or indifferent to us. Even in our miserable and wounded condition, he continues to be with us, even showing us with greater solicitude. It’s rather us who tend to ignore and contradict him.

The ideal condition to have is first to know and love God so that we may know and love ourselves and others properly. This was what St. Augustine precisely said. “Noverim te, noverim me,” Latin for “May I know God, may I know myself.” It is when we know and love Christ first that we can know who we really are and ought to be. God is our Creator and Father in whose image and likeness we have been made. How he is, who is pure love in essence, is also how we ought to be!

Only in this way can we show the real Christ to others as we should.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com


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