Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
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
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just reading a book, a novel, a play, a historical document.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
“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
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…”