Christ always takes the initiative

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

Indeed, Christ always takes the initiative to show himself to us, to come and to be with us. Being both God and man, whose essence is pure love, he will always be with us, showering us with all the goodness and power that he gratuitously shares with us. We should just try our best to be as quick as possible to receive and welcome him and unite ourselves with him which is what we are meant to be.

This truth of our faith is highlighted in that gospel reading of the Mass for Friday of the Easter Octave (cfr. Jn 21,1-14) where the resurrected Christ appeared to his apostles who were fishing in the Sea of Tiberias. They at first did not recognize him, but when they caught a big haul of fish after being told by him where to cast their nets, that was when they recognized him.

This truth of our faith is also highlighted in that episode where Christ appeared to two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus. (cfr. Lk 24,13-35) They also at first did not recognize him when he approached them. It was only later when at table Christ broke bread with them that they did and that filled them with great awe.

To be sure, Christ is always present in us and in the world. He can never be absent, even in our worst moments. Even when we ignore him or intentionally go against him, he will still be with us. Consider the case of St. Paul who in his campaign against the early Christians was called directly by Christ to be one of his apostles. (cfr. Act 9,1-19)

But ordinarily, we can only recognize Christ if we have the desire to do so, carrying out all the relevant tasks to convert that desire into reality. For this, we need to study the life, words, and deeds of Christ as portrayed in the gospels and taught by the Church. We need to develop a growing life of piety, animated by the proper spirit and supported by some practices, like prayer, sacrifices, ascetical struggles, etc.

We have to realize that in everything that we do, the first, last and constant intention we ought to have is to look for Christ in order to find and love him. Only in this way can we be in a position to recognize Christ.

We should not just be contented with pursuing a natural or human goal in all the things we have to do, like meeting a deadline, complying with some requirements, achieving a level of efficiency, profitability, etc., which while legitimate can be dangerous if not related to the main goal of looking, finding and loving Christ.

We should be able to find Christ not only in our good and happy moments, but most especially in our difficult situations and predicaments when we are made to suffer or to feel that we are the victims, the receiving and losing end in our differences and conflicts with others.

When we manage to be humble, patient, charitable, magnanimous, and merciful in these situations, we can be sure that we would be in a better position to recognize Christ in all the parties involved in our differences and conflicts.

Most importantly, we should try our best to find Christ in the ordinary little things that we deal with every day. Let’s never forget what he said to his disciples: “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt 28,20)

Let’s start by finding Christ in the little things of our day.

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