REFLECTION: The relevance of Christ PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 January 2015 14:41

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

I, of course, find this topic a bit funny. I thought the relevance of Christ in our life and in everything in it is beyond question. But I’m meeting more and more people raising that question up, or at least admitting that they in theory believe in Christ’s relevance but could not find the concrete way to feel it.

Obviously, the relevance of Christ is not a matter of feelings but of faith, which in turn depends more on our will than again on our feelings. Feelings of God’s presence in our life come only as a consequence of our will to believe in him which is also a result of God’s grace that is given to us abundantly.

If we find that reasoning circular—what we call, begging the question—we need to be clear about one basic point. And that is, everything starts with God. He takes the initiative in everything.

He created us. He endowed us with the best faculties and powers that would qualify us to be his image and likeness, and his children. He started everything with us and will always be with us.

When we start with ourselves, especially with our senses and feelings, and remain there, then we would be understanding things with a grave handicap. Chronologically, we of course start with our senses and feelings, but when we start to use our reason, and let it run its course as fully as possible, then we would realize that everything, in fact, starts with God, not with us.

In fact, we rectify ourselves as often as we realize that our initial understanding of things based on our senses and emotions has not been that correct. We have to be wary of our tendency to be too dependent on our senses and feelings, since these faculties of ours, no matter how powerful and necessary to us, can only do so much. They can capture only the sensible reality, not the intelligible, much less, the spiritual and supernatural realities.

While we start our process of knowing with them, we have to understand that they only serve as starters, not as completers or perfecters of our knowing. Our knowledge of things takes place in our mind and heart, which in turn derive their capacity to know and love from God and always with God, their creator and lawgiver.

Having said all that, we can say that we have to train ourselves to think properly, that is to say, to acknowledge the indispensable role of God in everything in our life. He will always be relevant.

Being the Son and Word of God who became man, Christ is the very pattern of the whole of creation, and especially of man who is God’s image and likeness. This means that everything that exists has its nature and law written, so to speak, and originating in Christ.

What we know and discover and invent in this world has Christ in the center of it all. He is at least the reference point of our knowledge that can differ from how things ought to be as designed by God. He is the ultimate arbiter of what is right and wrong, good and evil in our life here on earth.

By becoming man, Christ offers us the way to return to God after we have fallen away from him through our sins. He shows us how to handle our spiritual powers of knowing and loving. But he presents all this to us as an option. He does not force us to accept it. He respects our freedom. We are also free to accept it or not.

We can then understand that no one and nothing can actually be more relevant to us than Christ himself. He is actually everything to us. While he presents himself to us as an option, we have to understand that he is not optional, but rather a necessity to us.

We need to process this truth of our faith slowly and thoroughly because many are the factors that can undermine our free acceptance and belief in it. We often do not like to bother ourselves to go beyond what is physical or material, social or political, historical or cultural.

We rely too much on our senses and feelings. If we use our intelligence, we base its operation more on what we see, touch and feel, rather than on what our faith, whose fullness is given to us by Christ, tells us.

We have to acknowledge the primacy of faith in our pursuit of knowledge so we can see Christ’s continuing relevance in our life.