WHAT SOME PEOPLE SAY TODAY
Even in this 21st Century, Jesus’ question keeps resounding: «And you, who do you say I am?». It’s not to take a poll. It’s a question that puts each one of us on a deeply different level: who is Christ for me today? What meaning does he really have in my life? The answers can be all over the board:
«I’m not interested. Nothing more. It doesn’t say anything to me; I don’t have anything to do with him; I know that some people keep being interested in him; I’m more interested in practical and immediate things». Christ has disappeared from the real horizon of these people.
«If don’t have time for that. I have my plate full just dealing with the problems of each day: I’m busy, have little time and patience to think about much else». In these people, there’s not a slot where Christ can fit. They don’t begin to suspect the stimulus and power that he could bring to their lives.
«It seems to be much too demanding to me. I don’t want to complicate my life. It makes me uncomfortable to think about Christ. And besides then along comes all that stuff about avoiding sin, expecting a virtuous life of me, religious practices. It’s too much». These people don’t know Christ; they don’t know that he could introduce a new freedom in their existence.
«I feel him to be far off. All that stuff about God and religion ends up theoretical and distant to me; they’re things about which you can’ know anything for certain; besides what can I do to know him better and understand where these things are going?». These people need to find a path that leads them to a more living connection to Christ.
These kinds of reactions aren’t just something «invented»: I have heard them myself on more than one occasion. I also know of answers apparently firm: «I’m agnostic»; «I always hold to progressive positions»; «I only believe in science». These affirmations seem to be inevitably artificial, when they aren’t the result of a personal and sincere search.
Jesus keeps being unknown. Many can’t intuit today what it is to understand and live life from him. In the meanwhile, what are we his followers doing?, do we talk to anyone about Jesus?, do we make him believable in our lives?, have we stopped being his witnesses?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf