Friday, May 9, 2014

A new relationship with Jesus

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
May 11, 2014

John 10: 1-10

In the Christian communities, we need to have a new experience of Jesus by reviving our relationship with him. Put him decisively in the center of our life. Go from a Jesus routinely confessed to a Jesus vitally welcomed. The Gospel of John makes some important suggestions when talking about the relationship of the sheep with their Shepherd.

The first is "hear his voice" in all its freshness and originality. Not confuse it with respect for tradition or with the novelty of fashions. Not let ourselves be distracted or confused by other strange voices that, even though they are heard in the Church, don't communicate his Good News.

It's important to feel that we are called by Jesus "by our name." Let ourselves be attracted by him personally. Discover little by little, and with more and more joy, that no one answers our most critical questions, our deepest longings or our ultimate needs as he does.

"Following" Jesus is crucial. Christian faith isn't believing things about Jesus but believing in him -- trusting in his person. Finding our inspiration in his lifestyle to guide our own experience lucidly and responsibly.

It's vital to walk, having Jesus "before us." Not make our life's journey alone. Experience at some point, albeit clumsily, that it is possible to live life at its root -- that God offered to us in Jesus, more humane, friendlier, closer, and more saving than all our theories.

This living relationship with Jesus is not born in us automatically. It awakens inside us in a fragile, humble way. At the beginning, it's almost just a wish. Generally, it grows amid doubts, questions, and resistance. But, I don't know how, there come a point when contact with Jesus begins to mark our lives decisively.

I'm convinced that the future of faith among us is being decided in large part in the conscience of those of us who feel Christian at this time. Right now, faith is reviving or being extinguished in our parishes and communities, in the hearts of we priests and faithful who form them.

Unbelief begins to penetrate us the moment our relationship with Jesus loses strength or is numbed by routine, indifference or lack of concern. That's why Pope Francis has recognized that "we need to create motivating and healing spaces...places where faith in Jesus is regenerated." We must hear his call.

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