Do we accept Christ for Who He is and what He says?

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion for January 24, 2016

Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19; Psalm 71:1-6, 15-17; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:21-30

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Do we accept Christ for Who He is and what He says? Or, are we wont to remake Him, to revise His words, or to ignore or reject part of His teaching we prefer not to  follow?

If so, we could be worse off than a non-Christian, by deceiving ourself into thinking that we are Christ's faithful disciple, while, in fact, we are living like our own little god.

Christ is the Good Shepherd, and He cares for His sheep. Indeed, He laid down His life for them, and He continues to watch over and protect them. The Lord knows each of His little ones from their mother's womb, where He formed them (see Jer 1:4-5). He guards them, as they serve Him in His mission to change the world (cf. Jer 1:17-19).

No one can snatch Christ's sheep out of His hand. Only a sheep itself can choose to reject or wander away from the Shepherd to its own peril. Like the people of Jesus' hometown, it is possible to take prideful offense at the Lord, harden one's heart, then reject and shun Him (Lk4:21-30) – to one's own eternal loss.

Thus, each of us, as Christ's follower, must stay close to Him and constantly take refuge in Him (Ps 71:1-3). He guides us in right paths for His name's sake (Ps 23:3), so our mindset should be that of the Psalmist: "On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength" (Ps 71:6).

One of the great lessons Christ teaches His followers is the balance between love and truth – how those two must always be kept together. And, only in Christ, Who is Love and Truth, do we learn what these really are.

Saint Paul learned that Christ is the Wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:22-31) and also learned from Him key dimensions of love. He shared these with us:

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous … not pompous … not inflated … not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Cor 13:4-8).

Through faithfully following our Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, may we continue to grow in love and truth.

Tags: Fr. Runnion, Clergy Corner
 

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