A reflection by Hope Reyes on the book “Following Christ” by Frank Padilla.
Everyone is invited to follow Christ, and it is our life’s purpose to be Jesus Christ to others. To become His hands and feet, Jesus’ body here on earth. But these things are easier said than done.
Knowing Christ doesn’t automatically mean we get to go to heaven when we die, knowing Jesus Christ is not enough to secure our salvation. It is only when we do His works that we become closer to our true destination, heaven.
But even doing His works doesn’t ascertain our salvation. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:23 “‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”. Harsh, but true. Can you ask yourself “Is what you’re living for right now and your way of life, worth Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?” You may simply answer that you never asked him (Jesus) to do that for you, but then again, don’t you want to be assured of eternal salvation? Instead of living a life of luxury in our short meager time on earth? It may also be true for those who are already serving the Lord, you may already be giving your life and everything for the Lord, but only when we die do we know for sure that we are saved.
In Luke 6:46, Jesus says “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I say?” But what is He asking us to do? By following His commandments (Luke 18:20; John 14:15), sharing and giving to those who are in need (Matthew 25:35) and carrying our crosses daily (Luke 9:23). These may seem hard to do, but simply put, these 3 things together make up the 2 greatest commandment: love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
Again, in words, it seems so easy to do, but in reality, the many distractions of the world, most of the time detract us from doing exactly what Jesus told us to do. Therefore, we must remain vigilant of our calling.
Every day, as I wake up and before going to bed, I retrace all the things I have done and think, have I done the 3 most important things that I should do daily?
- Prayer time. Just like Jesus, he often prayed to God, going to secluded places to be one with Him and spend time with him. We too should be like Jesus, not only making it as a habit, but having our prayer time the focal point of our day.
- Living a life worthy of Christ. By being Christ to others, helping those who are in need, having a good attitude and a very long patience especially in our selfish world, forbearance and understanding and to love, love, love and love some more, especially those who makes life hard for us, they are God’s blessings in developing us to be who God wants us to become.
- Bring others closer to God, or letting them know God. In short, being Jesus’ modern disciples to the modern world, just like what the apostles did after Jesus ascended into Heaven. It is our everyday task as Christians to evangelize. Evangelization doesn’t only mean spreading the good news to far-off places, it can be as simple as sharing your daily gospel reflections in your social media accounts, inviting friends, family, and officemates to LBS (Liturgical Bible Study) or any of our community events, going to mission especially during summer time when different evangelization efforts of our community takes place, or simply using your time, talent, and treasure in the service of our Lord. There are a lot of ways to evangelize, evangelization doesn’t need to be hard, it can be creative as you can be imaginative.
In the end, not everyone will be able to go to heaven, it is a good reminder for us every day to ponder this thought, and live every day to the fullest, making sure that this day brings us ever closer to our destination, heaven.