Sunday, July 29, 2012

Real Or Fake?

The question I raised in today’s homily was - whom actually am I following as a Christian? Do I follow Jesus of Nazareth, a real one from the Gospel, Son of God; true Jesus as He presents himself to us? Or do I follow Jesus created by my expectations, shaped by the father of the lie, nature of this world and people’s criteria which tell me what kind of leader, messiah, savior our acceptable Jesus should be? Let me explain...

  If you read carefully Gospel, you will discover that the only instances where crowds followed Jesus in good numbers or were attracted to Him were times when He triggered those criteria and expectations of the world and the people and acted as messiah designed by their expectations.

First, they wanted Him to be a king, because He filled their stomachs. “When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.”

Secondly, they followed Him because He made them rich. “A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.” And the most important richness in this world is, with no doubt - life and health. He raised a few people from the dead. He cured many people of their sufferings and illnesses. This is what a real messiah and savior should do. Thus they wanted Him to be their king and messiah.
Thirdly, they followed Him because of the sensational events He performed and signs He gave them. This is real entertainment. And the true messiah people want is the one who constantly entertains them in the boredom of their lives.

But when He started talking about the Eucharist and His body for the salvation of the world, all those with full stomachs left, all those cured left, all those who watched Him waiting for some magic, entertainment and sensational events - left. Only the Twelve left, not sure what to do, luckily, Peter said they were not going anywhere. He proclaimed his faith in the real Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the way He wants us to believe in Him and follow Him.

Now, the question comes to mind. In my life which Jesus do I follow in my Christian life? Jesus as He presents Himself to me? A real Jesus of the Gospel? Jesus, who shapes my heart in love and mercy and wants me to follow Him, the Way, the Truth and the Life in the narrow path against all odds and against the wind of the world and its expectation - a very unpopular Jesus?

Or the Jesus - my own creation according to my expectations and needs - who is like a bank ATM - I insert in Him my prayer or request and the answer pops out. What I need He provides. He gives me good life, full stomach, richness and satisfaction and success in my endeavors, and entertains me in my life, so I have fun and avoid boredom...

If I do the examination of my faith and my relationship with Jesus, it may come out that I have followed the fake Jesus. Never having anything in common with the real One. And if only I have balls, I may come to the conclusion today, that today may be the very first day when I will begin to follow the real Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus - the Son of God. Jesus of the Gospels. The only Jesus who will teach me love and mercy, who will lead me through this world to the House of the Father, doing good along the way. The only Jesus to give me eternal life...

Open your eyes. Look at yourself, your life, your faith, your relationship with Jesus. Think and act. The real Jesus awaits you.

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