How do we “truly follow Jesus”?


Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25. Jesus grows His public ministry

How do we “truly follow Jesus”?

It seems that the allure of Jesus is in His ability to materially manifest miracles – healing, and later on, turning water into wine, and multiplying loaves of bread to feed five thousand. This could be an eye-catching spectacle on the realm of the material and empirical.

However, I wonder if a faith anchored on amazement towards the material representation of miracles (as in, experiencing miracles) is a strong and deeply rooted one?

Lately, the representation of Jesus that resonates most with me is being the Word incarnate; the Word made flesh. I am inspired by how Lonergan characterizes God as the Primary Insight where all other insights emanate from. Insights require intelligence and inquisitiveness in iterative understanding, as well as reasonableness in judgements and meaning-making.

Therefore, for me, to truly follow Jesus is to reflect on His words (as the Word Himself), which implies that critical and creative thinking should not be surrendered. A kind of faith that is mostly contingent on material manifestations of miracles seems incomplete at best or hypocrisy at worst. Reflection and action is needed, for it means that the faithful gained insight from the Word and acted in virtue.

Is this not what a personal miracle should be?

Imagine if businesses and organizations can go beyond products and services that only target sensual pleasures and alleviation of physical and emotional pain. Imagine if marketing is not only driven by perceptions, but instead drives the market to lead better authentic lives.

The Word is more than what meets the eye and what pleases the senses. Thus, the more important (yet humanly attainable) miracle is to internalize the Word and act in virtue instead of fixating on replicating the materially impossible made possible.

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