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Developing a yearning for Christ

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - January 13, 2021 - 12:00am

We need to develop a certain yearning for Christ, a longing, an urge, a passionate desire, since this is a basic necessity for us, given the fact that Christ is everything to us. He is our savior. He is the pattern of our humanity. We achieve the fullness of our humanity when we fully identify ourselves with him, which is something that can take place only with God’s grace, but also with our all-out effort.

This yearning for Christ has been expressed in many ways in the Bible. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God,” says a psalm. (42,1-2)

In the Old Testament, the people had practically been trained to long for the coming of the promised Redeemer and to make the necessary preparation. (cfr. Is 40,1-5) We can say that the culture of waiting and of expecting the Redeemer had been inculcated.

 

And when finally the coming of the Redeemer became imminent, the precursor, St. John the Baptist, had to prepare the way for him, asking the people for repentance and conversion of heart. (cfr. Mk 1,1-8)

This attitude of waiting, expecting, and making the proper preparation for the second coming of Christ should continue to be learned by all of us. And we can do that by strengthening our belief that Christ is actually already with us. He is everywhere, around us and inside us. We just have to develop the habit of looking for him in order to find him.

Christ is already with us since he is the God who became man, identifying himself with us in all our conditions, even making himself like sin, the worst condition that we can be in, even if he himself has not committed sin. (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21) Yes, he identified himself with us so that we also can have a way of identifying ourselves with him.

In the end, what is being aimed at here is for us to be like Christ since he is the very pattern of our humanity and the savior of our humanity that is damaged by sin. And that’s because God wants us to be his image and likeness, something that we too should also want for ourselves. For this, we have been given Christ himself, who declared that he is “the way, the truth and the life” for us. (cfr. Jn 14,6)

It is for this reason that we should develop the yearning, the longing, the passionate desire to look for Christ, so we may find him; and in finding him we may learn to love him; and in loving him, we get to identify ourselves with him.

And Christ is present everywhere. We have to learn to look for him and find him in the little ordinary things of our life—in our respective homes and communities, in our work, in the things that we use and handle, etc. We actually do not need to go far and to do extraordinary things to find him.

And most especially, Christ is present in the sacraments, especially in the Holy Eucharist. That is why we are encouraged by the Church to have frequent recourse to Holy Mass and Holy Communion.

Let us develop this longing for Christ, a good resolution for this season of Advent!

CHRIST
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