By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 17, 2019
WE have to understand that our life here on earth is meant to be a life with Christ. And that’s simply because, as Christ himself said, he is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14,6) He said that no one goes to the Father, no one can go to God, from whom we come and to whom we belong, except through him.
For Christian believers, human life is not just anyone’s life. It is by definition a life with Christ who is the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity. And even if one is not a Christian believer, he somehow knows that his life is not just his own. There are at least many ‘stakeholders’ or persons unavoidably involved in his life – his parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, society in general, etc.
Christian believers should realize that we have to continually keep company with Christ whom we have to know, love, serve and identify ourselves with. And one way of knowing him, the first step before we can love, serve and identify ourselves with him, is to read and meditate on the gospel, or the whole of Sacred Scripture, that contains the life and teachings of Christ.
But there is just one important qualification in this business of reading and meditating on the gospel. We should not just read and approach it as if we are just reading a book, a novel, a play, a historical document.
It has to be read with a living faith that should involve our whole being, and not just our intellect or feelings. It has to involve our whole being that includes the whole gamut of the spiritual dimension and the supernatural destination of our life.
I remember Opus Dei founder St. Josemaria Escriva saying that in reading and meditating on the gospel, one has to make himself as one more character in any episode of Christ’s life as narrated in the gospel.
He certainly did not simply mean that we imagine ourselves to be physically present in a particular episode. This attitude would simply confine us at best to a historical and cultural impression of Christ that is by definition limited in scope and relevance. We would miss the living Christ.
We have to use all our human faculties and to be animated by faith, so that we can have not only a certain nearness to Christ but also can manage to discern the spirit of Christ which will always be relevant whatever period and situation we may be in the timeline of the world.
Let’s remember that Christ’s words and teachings as contained in the gospel are living and eternal words. Not only do they have a universal scope insofar as our life and salvation is concerned, but also have particular and unique messages for each one of us.
Thus, the letter to the Hebrews describes God’s word as revealed by Christ as “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (4,12)
Reading and meditating on the gospel with faith would truly enable us to live our life with Christ irrespective of the historical, cultural differences, etc. between his earthly life and ours. It validates what the Catechism says about how our life can be a life with Christ. The Catechism says:
“Christ enables us to live in him all that he himself lived, and he lives it in us…We are called only to become one with him, for he enables us as the members of his Body to share in what he lived for us in his flesh as our model.” (521)
The Catechism continues: “We must continue to accomplish in ourselves the stages of Jesus’ life and his mysteries and often to beg him to perfect and realize them in us and in his whole Church…”