To become like Jesus

Yesterday’s article by Joe Difato on the “Catholic Man” Channel of the Catholic Exchange website really gets to the beef of the Gospel.

 

Christ’s call for us to repent from sin can be challenging enough.  Perhaps you’re experiencing a bit of that this Lent.  It’s certainly not easy to turn away from patterns of sin that may have become ingrained in our lives as a result of years of neglecting our spiritual life, or simply engaging in bad habits.

 

In verses like Luke 6:27, 32-35 Jesus reveals that the high calling of the Christian life is what young people today would term “extreme.”

 

Appropriately, Joe is teaching about something far beyond simply turning away from sin.  When he asserts that…

Embracing a cross with the help of God’s grace is quite different from nobly trying our best to accept a cross without grace.

 

…he is pointing us to an element of authentic Christian maturity – dependence upon God – which is diametrically opposed to the concept of self-reliance that is constantly drilled into us by our American culture.

 

When he says…

Rather than dwell on their own sufferings, they find themselves moved with compassion for other people, even as they themselves endure pain and difficulty. In short, they become more and more like Jesus.

 

…he is revealing to us our true goal:  we should want to grow closer and closer to Jesus so that we can become more and more like Jesus.

 

Extreme indeed!  So extreme, in fact, that such intensity of self-emptying and self-giving on our part can often be the catalyst that incites change in the people around us.

 

Involvement in a small group that meets regularly can give men the opportunity to support one another as we endeavor to grow in dependence on God, especially when we undergo trials in our lives.  Hearing the struggles and successes of our brothers will motivate us to press on.  Hopefully, the encouragement we can share will truly assist us as we strive toward that goal of growing closer and closer to Jesus so that we can become more and more like Jesus.

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