14 April 2009

Live Jesus!

This motto is not particularly an expression of 17th century French piety, even though it comes from St. Francis de Sales. It is really the message of the Gospel. Now that we are in the Easter season, we get to hear from that exciting and, at least to me, troubling book, The Acts of the Apostles. We see the young Church beginning after Pentecost to preach Jesus Christ crucified and risen in their words, indeed, but even more in their lives. The Apostles and their followers start to resemble Jesus. In the Gospels they are so different from Him; now they are Him. They, to use the words of St. Francis de Sales, live Jesus. Well, how about us? We live in exciting and troubling times in the world and in the Church. Are we committing our own acts of the apostles, which are really the acts of Jesus? Do we resemble Jesus in the way St. Peter (Acts 5.15) did in healing by shadow? Or the way St. Stephen (Acts 7.59-60) did in his martyrdom?

Have the mind that is in Christ Jesus in you. Go about as He did continually desiring the glory of His Father. Of course, we need the teaching of the Church, especially the moral teaching, to keep us from deceiving ourselves; but those teachings are the guard rails on the edge of the cliff of catastrophe. Aim higher. Live Jesus!

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