How real is Jesus Christ to you? How real is your relationship with him? Consider these random statements I have put together and others that occur to you …
1. I think of Christ often, sometimes, now and again, rarely, never. He makes no real difference to me.
2. I pray or talk to him at Mass, at fixed prayer times, when I’m in trouble, when I am happy or at peace, never, as much as I can. You can’t talk to anyone in your head.
3. I can say that in my heart I have met him personally, have sensed his presence, keep seeking to meet him personally, have not met him personally, have never sensed his presence, don’t care about meeting him personally, don’t want to meet him personally, have never tried to meet him personally, am totally indifferent.
4. I know a lot about him, next to nothing about him, only what I learnt at primary school about him, I keep learning about him, pursue study and reading about him, don’t particularly care about knowing more about him, don’t see why I should bother learning more about him, don’t know where to start learning more about him, have never asked anyone to teach me or show me how to learn more about him, am happy with what I know about him and don’t want or need to know more.
5. I love him with all my being, don’t know what it means to love him, am afraid to love him, consider talk of loving him childish and craven, am too busy to love him, don’t see the point of loving him, consider it impossible to love him, will never be able or want to love him.
6. I would die for him; I would suffer but not die; I would die but not suffer; I would defend him up to a point. I would die rather than sin against him. I would not die for him if it meant suffering for my family or loved ones. I would rather lose my job or money than deny him.
6. I trust him totally and implicitly with my life and all I am and have, would like to do so, am sincerely trying to do so, am scared to do so, don’t know how to do so, don’t understand what it means to do so. Why trust him at all?
7. Jesus is an interesting historical figure of some relevance for those who subscribe to his views, a unique teacher of how to live a good human life, a man sent by God but no more, a deluded religious maniac, the centre of history, God but not the Son of God, the Son of God but not God, whatever you believe him to be but no more, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind from sin and death, risen from the dead, the goal and judge of history, a myth, an impostor capitalised on by people like Paul and Peter for political and power ambitions, irrelevant today.
8. The founder of the Church, present in the Church by his teaching only, present in the Church as the Head is present to the Body, present in differing ways in the sacraments of the Church, never intended any Church, intended and founded a simple Church which was lost in the early centuries because of human corruption, would be scandalised and reject the Catholic Church of today, continues to guide and sanctify and teach the Church through the Holy Spirit, wouldn’t know what a Church is.
9. Were it not for him, my sins would deprive me of eternal life. He is not worried about my sins. My sins make no difference to him. My sins crucified him. My sins had nothing to do with his crucifixion. It doesn’t matter if I sin, since he will forgive me. He did not need to die to forgive my sins. My sins sadden and offend him. I don’t need to ask forgiveness from him for my sins, since he has already forgiven them all anyway. Sin doesn’t exist, or if it does, it doesn’t matter. Since he is all merciful, sin is irrelevant.
10. When I die, Christ will know me, will perhaps know me, won’t know me. I will recognise him. It doesn’t matter. Who cares? There’s no life after death.
11. To live in Christ’s love and glory in eternity is the meaning of my life right now, shapes and directs the way I live right now, has little or no relevance to the way I live now. Christ is the fulfilment of my humanity, gets in the way of living a truly human life … Fr. Peter