A CHRISTIANITY OF FOLLOWING
In times of crisis, the temptation is great to seek security, go back to easy positions and knock on the door again of a religion that ‘protects’ us from so many problems and conflicts.
We need to revise our Christianity in order to see if in today’s Church we go about motivated by the passion of following Jesus or go around seeking «religious security». According to the well-known theologian Johann Baptist Metz, this is the most serious challenge we Christians of Europe are facing: make a decision between a «comfortable religion» or a «Christianity of following».
Following Jesus doesn’t mean fleeing toward a past that’s already dead, without trying to live today with the spirit that animated him. As someone once said ingeniously, it’s a matter of living today «with Jesus’ breath» and not «with just more hot air».
This following doesn’t consist in seeking novelty or in promoting groups of select people, but in making of Jesus the only key to our communities, decidedly putting ourselves at the service of what he called God’s reign.
That’s why, to follow Jesus almost always implies walking «against the current», in an attitude of rebelling in the face of customs, fads or the latest opinions that don’t match the spirit of the Gospel.
And this demands not only not allowing ourselves to be domesticated by a superficial and consumer society, but even contradicting our own friends and family members when they invite us to follow paths other than the Gospel.
That’s why to follow Jesus demands being ready for disputes and the cross. Being ready to share his destiny. Accepting the risk of a life crucified as his was, knowing that the resurrection awaits us. Won’t we be capable of listening today to the ever-living call of Jesus to follow him?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf