In the footsteps of Christ-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Saturday, August 18, 2012
In this article, Ernesto R. Mondoñedo shows that our life here on earth is full of pitfalls; it is a struggle against evil. That is the reality and we must accept that. But Christ shows us the way how to deal with that problem. He himself was fully man and learned the hard way that evil is a reality in man’s life.
“TO FOLLOW close upon the heels of a someone, treading through a minefield that leaves no visible footprint, is an act of complete trust and confidence in a leader. No one knows the common goal of the human race and the pitfalls and traps laid along the road to it better than Christ. He has himself triumphantly gone through it, not merely by avoiding but, by successfully defusing all the traps and snares sown by the evil world, the devil, and the flesh. And He did it as a defenseless nobody in the estimation of the self-righteous and debauch elite of the Judeo-Roman Society, and in fact in his own estimation of himself as man.
By the time Christ began his public ministry, however, He must have learned that He was more than human and was sent on mission by God, his Father. He must have figured his Father’s vision for the human race as a people united in the pursuit of peaceful co-existence. He must have accepted as his common task with humanity the integration of individual efforts with the common effort at reconciling enemies, parents and their wayward children, community leaders and their followers, the haves and the have-nots, etc.
We now see Christ’s mission for humanity as similar to the task of the human body with regard to its individual cells, tissues, organs and physiological systems. The difference is that the human body has a common mind for coordinating the efforts of its parts. This task is full of traps and deception and is impossible to the human race whose parts and organization of parts into families, neighborhoods, associations, towns, etc. have minds of their own. My job is to open insights from the physical, a socio-cultural, and religious disciplines that might facilitate discharge by humanity of its responsibility to develop a common mind among people and groups of people.
Insights are new perspectives on the truth. They are learning for better control of similar situations. They enlighten a man’s progress in the pursuit of his destiny or of the highest level of fulfillment his God gave him capacity or potential to reach. They are, to the faithful followers of Christ, divine revelations of his unchanging plan for anything He makes in relation to the rest of his creation. They are parts of God’s Word, or the Good News, of man’s salvation from the tyranny of evil, delivered through, with and in the life, words, and works of Christ, his Son made man.
Christ is a human being who is also the one God. His was infinite knowledge until the time came that He was to obey his Father’s command to be born into the race of Adam not of sinful Eve, but through Mary of Nazareth, the Second Eve, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit of the family of God full of divine gifts and therefore sinless.
Christ was thus truly human but sinless like his mother and unlike the rest of his fellow human beings. He was so truly human that He had to be breastfed and to learn who He was and what his Father in Heaven wanted Him to do with the ways and means that would be available to his fellowmen. He would be their authentic leader in their search for their identity as adopted, but real, sons and daughters of God and co-heirs with Him of his Godly power over evil. He would share with them the victory He won over evil by his obedience unto death and insured for us by his resurrection.
“No one gets to the Father except by means of me.” John 14:6. As the Way, the Truth, and the Life to our eternal destiny God planned for us, we have to follow in Christ’s footsteps. We cannot afford to do otherwise. Our world is a maze of evil. We have to use the means He used to know who God was, who we are, what God wants us to do to come home and lead others to Him through, with, and in Christ.
The words, works and life of Christ recorded in the Bible and Tradition is a rich treasury of insights into God’s saving revelation that most of my remaining articles hope to rummage through with the Holy Spirit. I continue to hope that by the power of the Holy Spirit who unites God the Father, God the Son, my fellowmen, and me into a community as in a living church, a temple not made by human hands, the empowered and empowering Body of the Risen Christ, will sustain my efforts.”
I have lived and worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years. During those years, I got many insights in the culture of the Filipino people. I learned to love the Filipino people but I experienced also that there are Filipinos who have bad habits.
Evil is a reality also in the Philippines. For instance, a Filipino in need can easily ask you for a loan but he fails to pay that loan or pays it only in part. I learned to live with that reality. I continued to help people in need although I know they often take advantage of my goodness, and then I get angry and often I lose a friend.
Christ must have experienced the same but He shows us clearly that a sure way to his Kingdom is to help the poor and the oppressed out of their misery.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 19, 2012.