THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
OPENING OUR MINDS
Today’s gospel: Luke 24:35-48
Jesus tells his disciples, and thus us, “You are witnesses
of these things.” (Lk 24:48). What things? Everything
about Jesus’ life and mission, culminating in his sacrificial
death on the cross and then his resurrection. “These
are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in
the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” (Lk 24:44).
we not only have the Mosaic law and the books of the prophets
and the book of Psalms, but we have the New Testament, the
Church and her Magisterium, the writings of saints and Church
Fathers through the centuries, the interventions of Mama Mary,
and our own Christian community and its servant leaders. We
just need to open our eyes, ears, minds and hearts.
How does this happen?
we must have a deep intimate personal relationship with Jesus.
He is risen. He is alive. He is at work in our day-to-day
lives. He walks with us. We are not “seeing a ghost.”
(Lk 24:37b). Though we cannot anymore “touch (him) and
see” (Lk 24:39b), we know that Jesus is the crucified
Christ who is risen. “Look at my hands and my feet,
that it is I myself.” (Lk 24:39a). We already know how
much he loves us. Now we need to get into the depth of that
love. We are a people that pray.
we must be a people of the book, the Bible. We must read and
reflect on the Bible every day, and then have other times
of more structured study. This is how we know what Jesus spoke
and what is written about him. In this, we look to the Spirit
of Jesus to enlighten our minds and to convict our hearts.
“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”
we must know that Jesus is in our midst, whenever two or more
are gathered in his name. Jesus “stood in their midst”
(Lk 24:36b). This is the blessing of being a Christian family
and a Christian community. We are the people of God. Our homes
are pieces of Kingdom ground. The community is the very body
of Christ. We must work hard to renew and strengthen our family
life, and be faithful to the life and mission of our community.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He says to all, “Peace
be with you.” (Lk 24:36c). Jesus brings peace, and so
we must never again be “startled and terrified”
(Lk 24:37a) about anything. Jesus asks us, “Why are
you troubled?” (Lk 24:38a). Rather than being startled
or terrified or troubled, we must always be “incredulous
for joy and .... amazed” (Lk 24:41a). Further, we must
work hard at unity amidst our diversity. We must strive to
be of one heart and one mind, in order that God can use us
for the one life and mission.
looking to Jesus as the risen Messiah, we must know the process
by which God works in the world. There is Good Friday before
Easter Sunday. “Thus it is written that the Messiah
would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day”
(Lk 24:46). There is death before life. There is falling to
the ground and dying before producing much fruit. Suffering
for the cause of Christ is purifying and salvific. Lamentations
precede restoration and rejoicing.
we are called to massive evangelization. But we do this one
person at a time, in the ordinary day-to-day contacts and
circumstances of our life. Our work of evangelization then
goes in ever-widening circles -- from the individual to the
couple to the family to the community to the larger society
to the nation to the world. The good news “would be
preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
we partake of the Eucharist. Want to really know Jesus? Want
to really live Christ? Jesus is “made known to them
in the breaking of the bread.” (Lk 24:35b). The Eucharist
is at the very core of our life as Catholics. Jesus literally
enters into us, the temples of his Holy Spirit. At every Mass,
Jesus “(shows us) his hands and his feet.” (Lk
24:40). He relives for us his great love. By frequent reception
of Jesus at Communion, we are well on our way to becoming
like him, and to be holy unto the Lord.