Acknowledge with your Life (from FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS by Jose A Pagola
“Who do you say that I am?” All the synoptic writers reported on this question that Jesus asked his disciples in the region of Caesarea Philippi. It was very important for the early Christians to remember again and again whom they were following, how they were collaborating in his plan and for whom they were risking their lives.
When we hear this question today, we tend to mouth the formulas that Christianity has fondly repeated for centuries: Jesus is the Son of God made man, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of the human race and so on. But by just pronouncing these words is that enough to make us followers of Jesus? Unfortunately they are frequently formulas learned at an early age, routinely accepted, repeated meaninglessly, and affirmed but not lived.
We believe in Jesus out of custom, a pious disposition, or upbring, but we live without understanding the originality of his life, or having heard the newness of his call, or being drawn by his mysterious love and inspired by his freedom, without any effort to follow the path he traced.
We adore him as God, but he is not the center of our lives. We acknowledge him as “Teacher” but we are not motivated by what motivated his life. We live as followers of a religion, but we are not disciples of Jesus.
In spite of their intended purpose, the “orthodoxy” of our doctrinal formulas can provide a security which at the same time dispenses with a living encounter with Jesus. There are very ”orthodox” Christians who live an instinctive religiosity, but have no experience of what it is to be nourished by Jesus. They feel they are guardians of the faith, even boast of their orthodoxy, but do not know personally the dynamism of the Spirit of Jesus.
Let’s not fool ourselves. Each of us has to stand before Jesus, look into our hearts, and listen in the depths of our being to his words “Who am I truly for you all? The answer to this question must be seen in the quality of our lives, more than heard in sublime words.
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