Following Jesus is a demanding journey. Our commitment must be from the heart, a heart willing to be transformed by imitating Christ.
Attitudes of the Kingdom
It means much more than being present in body or knowing about Christianity. Jesus himself describes those who belong to the Kingdom by their attitudes. The ‘Beatitudes’ are attitudes of the heart that are characteristic of God’s Kingdom. People with these attitudes do not need a ‘blueprint’ to organize their lives or their society. The heart that is in harmony with God will itself make decisions and create a way of life that reflects and belongs to God.
We help one another follow Christ and to grow in these attitudes. Our common prayer, shared understanding and support of one another give us strength and remind us of the presence of Christ in our midst. We are all responsible for making this common life better. Taking time for different types of prayer, reflection and fellowship are all evidence of our desire to grow in the attitudes of the Kingdom of God.
When I was a child, the ‘Christian Vision’ of humanity still formed a major part of our society’s understanding of itself. Today, many traditional ways of nurturing the faith as the Light in our world no long fit people’s daily realities. We must focus more and more on what Pope St. Paul VI called the “New Evangelization”. That is, we do not presume that people have, or at least know about, faith in Christ. We try to adapt our methods so that we first deliberately allow ourselves and others to grow in our personal connection with Christ. Then our ‘growing together’ both nurtures and celebrates that connection. And we are more clearly a collective witness of the joy of living in harmony with God’s love.
St. Paul’s weakness made him more aware of God’s love. Has there ever been a time when some lack of ‘strength’ on your part has helped you notice that others love you?
In our joys and in our struggles, may the Lord fill our hearts with the blessing of his love.