TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST JESUS
I Jn 1:1-4 “It was there from the beginning; we have heard it; we have seen it with our own eyes; we looked upon it and felt it with our own hands; and it is of this we tell. Our theme is the word of life. This life was made visible; we have seen it and bear our testimony; we have declared to you the eternal life which dwelt with the Father and was made visible to us. What we have seen and heard, we declare to you, so that you and we together may share in a common life, that life which we share with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
Faith is not only a matter of accepting a doctrinal teaching, but mostly consists in accepting a person in our life, person who takes the whole place. It is the true acceptance of Christ. It is a close attachment to his person as our Lord and Master. It is constantly seeking his inexhaustible mercy. It is submission to the Word of God, and to the experience of God’s life in us. It is the knowledge of Christ, participation in his outlook and in his convictions as if we have the Christ’s eyes.
For one who believes, Christ is all. He is the beginning and the end of everything, of all history; all that goes before him prepares his way, and all that follows, proceeds from him. “But Christ is all things and in all”. (Col. 3)
It is in Christ Jesus, God and man, that all creation finds its meaning and its fulfillment. Everything else is created only in order to come to completion in him, the masterpiece without and beyond compare. He is the very center of unity, harmony and cohesion, giving the world its value and its stability.
The Church continues Christ; its role is exactly what his was. By the Sacraments, the Church unites men to Christ and brings all into unity in Christ.
While the Christian is profoundly aware that he belongs to Christ, he is no less conscious of the fact that he is a part of the Church, Christ’s body. He shows his awareness of belonging to the Church by the testimony of his life and progress, its struggles and sufferings. He shows a continual concern for the purity and integrity of the Church as well, expressing all these concerns by his active cooperation in its developments, – especially by his openness and spirit of cooperation with hose in authority in the Church, by his attitude of respect and willing obedience, and at the same time by his constant concern to help in bringing the Church into a deeper relationship of dialogue with the contemporary world. Finally – and especially – he expresses deep concerns by his earnest and sincere participation in the Church’s prayer, in her sacramental life, her praise and adoration of the Lord, and above all by the key act of her existence, the celebration of the Eucharist.
The Sacrifice of Christ, present in power in the Mass, is the turning point of world history, the pivotal act of all creation, source and high point of our life in Christ. When a group of Christians assembles to celebrate the Eucharist, the entire universe is implicated in the act.
On account of his faith in the Incarnate Word, the Christian has a great respect for all created things, all forms of human labor, and all human values.
At the same time, he is aware of their limitations. He does not make idols of them. And yet, he sees all things as somehow bound to the divinity, having something godly about them, something that leads toward God. His faith teaches him that creation is fundamentally good and that every thing, however humble, reflects the Creator and, by its nature, seems to be united with the Incarnate Word. It is a sign, a voice, and a word from God. The entire created universe is drawn into communion with God by the Christian in his assent to the Creator.
“All of you, works of the Lord, bless the Lord.”
In all of his activities, however completely human they may be, the Christian has the same religious awareness, not only because he sees himself as a co-creator along with God, but also because he understands that, in every one of his activities – whether of his intelligence, his heart or his hands – he is dealing with a world in which God has chosen to become flesh.
There is a divine element in all that the Christian does: no need to introduce this element from outside: whether I work with pen, shovel or paint brush. It is enough to discover this element and then to respect it, living as intensely as I can, in the light of this discovery.
For my work in the world, and the world itself, to lead me surely to God, it is enough for me to be as deeply in harmony with the divine element I find everywhere. Saint Paul gives a magnificent description of Christian existence in the world:
“All is yours,You are Christ’s, And Christ is God’s.”