Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1/19/11 - More on "Knowing Christ"

I want to follow up on yesterday's email, and give some more information on knowing Christ.  Go figure -- in the last couple of days on Catholics Online, a great article was published by Fr. James Farfaglia of Corpus Christi, TX.  Here's a piece of it:
What do we need to do in order to truly know Christ Jesus?  Above all, we must be open. Far too many people attempt to live Christianity based upon their own terms.  They do not come to the Lord with open minds and hearts.  Far too many remove pages from the Scriptures and reduce Christianity to their own comfort level. 

When we are completely open, the Holy Spirit floods our souls with his loving and peaceful presence.  He cannot enter locked doors and windows that he cannotopen.  God respects our freedom.   
Only the open can believe and see.  Knowledge automatically brings us to love.  We only love that which we know.  Our love for the Lord must be authentic and real.  Hypocrisy repulsed the Lord.  "In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, O I my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart" (Psalm 40: 8). 
Love brings about transformation.  The goal of discipleship is to die to self so that the Lord may live within us.  Whether that disciple is Paul, Sosthenes, John the Baptist, or everyone who has called upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1Corinthians 1: 2) every true disciple is sanctified and made holy by the Lord who is the light to the nations (Isaiah 49: 6).

Note his statement that "far too many people attempt to live Christianity based on their own terms."  I have a huge example of this from my own life.  Consider this passage:

John 15:14-17

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.

I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.

This I command you: love one another.

Being a Christian isn't about saying "I believe", or having strong feelings, or having expert command of the Bible, or doing lots of good things.  Those are terms that people develop. 

Christ's terms are RIGHT THERE.  "You are my friends if you do what I command you."  That means love one another as Christ loves us.  Christ says this, Paul says this, Peter says this, John says this, the Church says this. The Psalms say this, Proverbs says this, Isaiah says this. The Saints say this.

That's onerous until we understand that with God, all things are possible.  We can get a certain distance on our own, but to complete the job, we need Christ.  If we realize that and go to him, the transformation comes.  That's the journey of faith.

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