Two disciples, directed by the Baptist, get up to follow Jesus. For a while they walk behind him in silence. They still haven’t had a true contact . Soon Jesus turns and asks them a decisive question: «What do you want?», what do you expect of me?
They answer him with another question: Rabbi, «where do you live?» what is the secret of your life?, where are you from? what is living for you? Jesus answers them: «Come and see». Have the experience yourselves. Don’t look for any other information. Come to live with me. You will discover who I am and how I can transform your life.
This short dialogue can shed more light about what’s essential in the Christian faith than a whole lot of complicated words. Definitively, what is decisive for being Christian?
In the first place, seek. When someone doesn’t seek anything in life and is conformed with «casting about» or being a «scrounger», it’s not possible to encounter Jesus. The best way to not understand something about Christian faith is to not be interested in living in a right way.
What’s important isn’t seeking something, but seeking someone. Let’s not reject anything. If someday we feel that the person of Jesus «touches» us, it’s time to let ourselves be reached by him, without resistance or reserve. We need to forget convictions and doubts, doctrines and schemes. We aren’t being asked to be more religious or pious. Only that we follow him.
It’s not a matter of knowing things about Jesus, but of being in harmony with him, interiorizing his fundamental attitudes and experiencing that his person does us good, revives our spirit and instils us with power and hope for living. When this takes place, we begin to realize how little we believed in him, how badly we’ve understood just about everything.
But what’s decisive for being Christian is to try to live as he lived, though it may be poorly and simply. Believe in what he believed in, give importance to what he gave it, be interested in what he was interested in. Look at life as he looked at it, treat people as he treated them: listening, welcoming, and accompanying as he did it. Trust in God as he trusted, pray as he prayed, spread hope as he spread it. What does one feel when one tries to live this way? Isn’t this to learn how to live?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf