- L. Yesudass
Life in Christ
Jesus suffered, died, and rose again. Jesus came to this earth with God given mission to fulfill God’s plan to save humankind. Jesus completed his mission and commissioned his disciples to continue his mission, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Mt 28:19-20). The mission of Jesus Christ has continued through the apostles and the apostolic church. Today, we who constitute the Mystical Body of Christ, are the ones through whom the mission of Jesus has to be continued.
The Holy Scripture says, “I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor 6:16-18). The important question is do we live our daily life with the attitude that God lives and walks among us? Are our words, actions, life style, and our day to day activities reflect Jesus’ mission? Do others encounter the risen Christ in me and in my life? Do I make the spiritual path of Jesus as my own? Am I in a personal relationship with Jesus or is religion a mere set of rules that I seek to fulfill out of religious obligations? God is not vending machine that dispenses goods but God is a person whose nature is love and invites us to respond to love through his son Jesus Christ.
God tells us, “Come out from them be separate.” What does this separation consist in? This separation is manifested in putting on the mind of Christ. Seeking his Kingdom becomes our priority. What are we really seeking: wealth, name, status, name, fame, and honor or the Kingdom of God? If God is not our priority than we cannot claim the promise of God when he says, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.” Let us hold on to the words of Jesus “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Mt 7:21-23) and again in Matthew he warns us, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me” (Mt 25:41-43). As his disciples we need to discern and fulfill God’s will and one way of fulfilling God’s will is to serve those in need.
St. Paul writes to the Galatians “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). If we are really crucified with Jesus and Jesus really lives in us, we should have the mind of Christ and we should imitate Jesus in our lives. When this happens than our life itself speaks for him. The words of St. Francis of Assisi comes to my mind, “Use words only when necessary.”
When Jesus Christ lives in me and acts through me and when I am crucified with Christ than there is no place for division or disunity among its members. The resurrected Christ is not a monopoly of any particular individual or group or community. Jesus can never be part of ‘I,’ ‘Me,’ ‘Mine,’ ‘My.’ False self and God cannot exist together.
Having our life in Jesus Christ is like the wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. If we practice the word of God in our daily life we will be like the seeds that fell on the good soil and produces a crop, yielding a hundred, or thirty times.
Let us spread the joy of Easter by imitating or living like Christ in this world and let us constantly remember that we are in the world but not of the world.