Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Following Jesus

1. When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus. We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth. The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects. Still less can they satisfy our hearts. What they teach is either incomplete or false. This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of men have succeeded and replaced one another down through the centuries, while "the word of the Lord endures forever." (I Peter, 1:25)

The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family, and in society. It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation. There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity. This gulf would be even wider only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe. There is only one reform necessary. This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere. We must begin by carrying it out ourselves. Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) "He who follows Me does not walk in darkness." (John 8:12)

Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven.

2. Jesus is not only Truth; He is also Life. He is not only our Teacher: He is our Saviour as well. He has given us something which human philosophers could never give. For He hs given us more than doctrine; He has also given us the means of putting it into practice in our lives. He has given us grace and the Sacraments. He has given us Himself in the Blessed Eucharist. It would be impossible for us to carry out His divine precepts if He did not gie us the necessary spiritual strength to do so. We should be grateful to Jesus for His goodness and mercy. We should cherish the gifts which He has given us for our sanctification.

Follow Jesus, the Giver of grace and holiness. Make advantageous use of His Sacraments. Above all, receive the nourishment of His Divine Body with fervour and with love. In this Sacrament we can discover the unique spiritual force which makes men saints.

3. Jesus is also the Divine Model wom we ought to follow and imitate. In Him the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity. Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness, but kindly invites us to love and follow Him. Learn from me, He says, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt., 11:29) After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us that we shall find it light. (Mt. 11)

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience even in this life a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.