To be truly Christ-like

Knowing that as a human per son we are patterned after Christ, we should aim at making ourselves more and more like him. This should be our constant daily concern. All our other concerns in this life, no matter how important and urgent they may be, should be subordinated to this primordial one.

To be sure, this fundamental desire does not undermine our humanity. If anything at all, it will only bring us to our human perfection. We should not be afraid to give priority to this desire, for it can only put all our other plans and ambitions in their proper order.

To be truly Christlike would, of course, require that we know Christ through and through. This will certainly ask of us that we, at least, read and meditate on the gospel regularly, for it is where we can find Christ. As St. Jerome famously said: “Ignorance of the Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” We have to make it a daily habit to read, study and meditate on the Bible. With our new technologies, this should not be difficult to do.

To be truly Christlike would, of course, be an endless affair. We can never say we are definitively Christ-like, since we can never exhaust the richness of Christian life no matter how much effort we exert. We just have to try and try. At least, everyday we should be able to say that we are becoming more and more like Christ in a specific aspect.

Definitely, if we want to be truly Christlike, we should be full of goodness and love. We should reach out to everybody, no matter how difficult that would be or how undeserving the others may be of our care and attention. Like Christ, we have to be willing to empty ourselves so as to identify ourselves with everybody. We have to fan into a bursting fire this desire to serve others.

Like Christ, we have to assume the attitude of wanting to serve everybody and not to be served. We have to be wary of our tendency to fall easily to a sense of self-importance or conceit. Like Christ, we have to be willing to “wash and kiss the feet” of everybody.

Like Christ, we have to love our enemies, and to bear the burden of everybody, willing to replicate in our life the very passion and death of Christ, so that we too can join him in his resurrection. We should be willing to offer mercy to everyone as well as to ask for pardon for our own sins.

We also have to understand that our identification with Christ can be achieved sacramentally. Aside from baptism and confirmation, let us see to it that we regularly go to confession and receive Christ in the Eucharist.

Like Christ, we have to pray constantly, keeping an abiding conversation with our Father God. We have to learn how to pray in all situations and circumstances of our life, be it happy or sad, light or heavy.

Like Christ, we have to have a sharp hunger for souls. The apostolic dimension of our life should be considered essential and indispensable. Wherever we are, whatever be our situation, the apostolic concern should always be in our mind and heart. We should always be praying for souls and thinking of how we can help them get back to God.

Like Christ, we have to offer everything in our life to God. We have to learn to give up everything for God, to live true detachment from earthly things even as we continue to use them. We have to reach that point that we are willing to offer our life to God, unafraid of death and all the suffering that goes with dying. All these to a heroic degree!