Fr. Roy Cimagala .
THE Easter joy, which is earned for us by Christ, should go way beyond feelings. It should enter deep into our soul, transforming us into Easter persons, completely identified with the risen Christ who identifies himself with us all the way to offering his life for us, and conquering sin and death for us with his resurrection.
Yes, we will still have our weaknesses, we will always be hounded by temptations, we will fall into sin. But let’s never forget that Christ has taken care of all of these for us, offering us help, forgiveness and salvation.
As St. Paul said, Christ made himself like sin without committing sin so he can identify himself with us even in our worst human condition. No matter how unworthy we feel we are in our relation with Christ, let’s not hesitate to identify ourselves with him as completely as possible, just as Christ identifies himself with each one of us all the way.
It’s not presumptuous of us to assume the identity of Christ even if such identity is still in the process of completion while we are still here on earth. We just have to try our best. Christ will always be around to help us. We should not be held captive by feelings of unworthiness, shame and fear. These are tricks of the devil to keep us away from Christ.
We should not worry if our assumption of Christ’s identity may lead us to feel proud and conceited. To be sure, such possibility is a temptation from the devil, because if we are truly identifying ourselves with Christ, then like him we would try always to be humble, to be willing to serve everyone, to suffer, to love all, even our enemies. Like Christ, we would try our best to do nothing other than the will of God.
Joy, a deep sense of confidence and security, the conviction that everything will always work out for the good even if we commit mistakes, should always be with us, because Christ takes care of everything. Ours is simply to try our best in doing good, even if our best efforts will never be enough according to God’s standards. They can always be made better.
We should just be sport with our human condition here on earth. The idea is simply to do our best. If we fail in something, let’s be quick to rise, asking forgiveness and then move on. Let’s not waste time ruing and brooding over our mistakes which can give us precious lessons. These mistakes and failures should not keep us from God. Rather, they should spur us to go to God.
In practical terms, it may be a good idea that we always remind ourselves that “I am Christ.” No matter what situations we find ourselves, we just have to say to ourselves, “I am Christ.” We may have to make some qualifications to that declaration, as we start considering the implications of such declaration, but it should be professed first of all.
We should try our best that such constant reminder becomes a streaming consciousness of our own selves. Again that is not presumption, simply because our true identity is that Christ has taken the initiative to identify himself with us. We just have to learn to correspond to that reality and to start feeling at home with such truth about ourselves.
Such consciousness will surely give us joy and confidence no matter what happens to us here on earth. It would be an indestructible joy, the joy and confidence of a son who completely trusts his father.
Let us spread this Easter joy, evangelizing as many people as we can so we can take them out of the ignorance and unbelief of a very important truth about ourselves. More than evangelizing, let us be models and active endorsers of this Easter joy!