Friday, August 17, 2007

Jesus' Humanity

Twenty years ago when I had my first intimate encounter of Christ. It happened in my first communion. He tasted bread, but the words of our catechist prevailed: It is Christ’s body! From then on, meeting Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist has never failed to give me a sense of optimism. It is Christ’s body that I receive. He is a friend. He will never leave me. Meeting Jesus in the Eucharist gives me optimism. It allows me hope that whatever pain I may experience at the moment is only fleeting, it will pass soon.

However, there were points in my life that wanted to question him. Yes, he is a friend. And I consider him one, but all my friends have points of origin. They have parents. They have a sense of history.

This is where, I guess, made me consider scrutinizing the level of how I know Christ. He is God, a being in the three Divine persons; conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of a virgin; suffered; died; resurrected. However, these elements of the creed pertaining to Christ didn’t satisfy me fully. It’s rather incomplete. Something is missing.

However, my encounter with Christ in our sessions in our Christology class has given Jesus a human structure. There, I appreciated how he carried out his ministry. Of course, I knew how he performed various miracles. How he raised up somebody from the dead, how he cured innumerable diseases. But I embrace Jesus more when I realized how he shot back at his critics. How he got furious when injustice had been committed, how frustrated he became when somebody couldn’t let go of his pride.

How human he lived his divinity!

In fact, Christ will do well as a literature teacher because he seemed to perfect the use of figures of speech. The use of figure of speech demonstrates how attuned he is (how human he is, that is!) to the experience of the people of his time. He did not only communicate ideas, but he effectively painted a vivid imagery in the minds, and I am sure, in the hearts of his people.

His Intimacy

Notwithstanding the other ideas I got from the subject, it helped me think that Jesus chose his friends. And even his followers. As a man of community I will soon become, this is one of my many crosses I am anticipating, especially this time that I am very much in touch with my core issues on detachment.

The graphic representation of Christ’s relationships is very telling: He loved everyone, but there were only a few whom he called to be closer to him. However, his love for this selected few never got the better of him in curtailing some of his relationships in favor of these few. He loved them all. He treated them equally, he was all to all! But he allowed certain individuals to come nearer to him.

For me, Christ serves as an icon of a wholesome friend, of whose love is pure and immaculate, and no response he wanted to elicit from his friends other than to live their lives fully well. This was manifested in the life of his friends, among them the Magdalene, St. Matthew, and even Peter who denied knowing him.

I cannot perform miracles nor resurrect myself, but this is something I can definitely empower myself to do: to remain intimate, yet detached.