How do we become like Christ?

How do we become like Christ?

Mark 7:31-37. Jesus heals a deaf-mute

First, happy feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes! As a proud Lourdesian alumnus from LSQC, I would like to reflect on our mission-vision: becoming like Christ. I would like to relate this with what my current student, PatYu, asked me to reflect on: “If it is God’s will, it will happen.”

Reading the gospels, reflecting on the journey of Job, and discerning the nature of the parables — my insight is that we cannot reasonably claim that we can fully know God’s will. We can infer and retroduce based on faith, reason, and tradition, but I think it would be hubris to say that “I 100% know the entirety of God’s will!”

Thus, I propose that when we try to express anything related to God’s will, it should always be in the form of a question for reflection. What is God’s will? What would Jesus do? How do I become like Christ?

We can only arrive at tentative insights that we are obliged to responsibly act on. Then we correct our understanding and judgements, and do things better. I think we should not separate the role of human agency and authenticity; and thus, passively surrendering (as in the Filipino “Bahala na!”) is not congruent with human nature. We have the tendency to be curious, a pure desire to know, and that desire to know implies that we want to improve our way of thinking, feeling, and being. In other words, virtue.

In today’s gospel, Jesus again ordered His followers: do not tell anyone! But the more Jesus mentioned this, the more the followers mentioned to others. As I reflected on the previous gospels, my interpretation is that Jesus did not want others to treat miracles as a spectacle. The miracles of healing should be invitations to reflect and to discern.

Thus, becoming like Christ is a journey of inquiry, not a journey of mechanically following a recipe. Rather than expressing, “If it’s God’s will, it will happen” (which, to me, connotes passive surrendering contrary to the lessons of Job and the parable of the talents), perhaps it is more virtuous to inquire and reflect: “What is God’s will? How can we make it happen?”


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