Are you the Messiah?
It is often the small things in life that have the biggest impact on us, isn’t it? An inspirational, simple story set me to pondering how I look at the world, the people around me and those with whom I come in contact through the day.
Once upon a time a monastery got tired and jaded, and the monks became rude both to themselves and to visitors. One day, a wise old Jewish rabbi who lived nearby came to the Abbott with a suggestion: one among the monks was actually the Messiah! The monks suddenly changed in their behaviour to one another; they wanted to offer their best to the Messiah whoever he was. None of them ever found out, but from then on the monastery was a peaceful and welcoming place, full of service and love.
One among those people with whom I come in contact today is actually the Messiah! This is how I am to look at the world, to the people around me, – one of them is the Messiah – and so I too want to offer my best to the Messiah, whoever he or she is. In doing so, I will look like Christ to others.
It is the encounter with Jesus that changes us forever, that sets us free to a new engagement with the world. It is a freedom to become more generous in love and diligent in service. It is an encounter that stays with us always and colours the whole of our lives, that calls us to a liberation of the heart such that we might be fully alive and active in doing the will of God, the Father. It is the time when our essence is disclosed to us, when we discover who we really are.
Just look at what it did to Saul, that strident persecutor of the early church. He dramatically converted and became Paul, who always pointed others to Jesus, becoming himself one with Jesus, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” It is St Paul who urges us to “make your own the mind of Christ Jesus” [Philippians 2:5].
How do we do that?
To be like Jesus is to be a person willing to put others before yourself, to seek wisdom, and to care about how you interact with all people you come across in life. It is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love others as Jesus loves you.
Apart from the commandments of Love, Jesus gave us the Golden Rule: “always treat others as you would like them to treat you” [Matthew 7:12]. The Golden Rule requires you to take the initiative and could well be distilled to one word: OTHERS!
Our purpose in life is to make people, rather than things, our greatest priority and by giving priority to the needs of others in our daily lives. God wants you to be a caring person, sensitive to the needs of others and aware of how to serve them.
Live your life in the love and peace of Christ Jesus. When the people around you see the peace in your life, even when it seems like you’re surrounded by storms, you can bet they’ll want to know how to get what you got!
Forgive as Jesus forgives. Jesus looks at us, as he looked at the woman caught in sin, and utters those amazing compassionate, merciful words, “Neither do I condemn you ….”
His is an act of true love, of forgiving and forgetting, a supreme act of mercy. The words Jesus speaks to us are with tenderness and love. If that is not enough to inspire us, look to the words he uttered as he was being nailed to the cross: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
St Paul promises that those who come to Christ are turned into the image they reflect. “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit” [2 Corinthians 3:18]. What a glorious promise!
Strive to reflect the image of Christ by making our own the mind of Christ Jesus. The true test of being more Christ-like is the love we have for one another. True holiness consists of the burning desire to become more like Jesus and a willingness to reach out to others.
The love of Jesus should be evident in the way we live our lives, for already “we have the mind of Christ” [1 Corinthians 2:16]. After all, one of those you reach out to is the Messiah.
Have a golden day and treasure life!