Friday, October 11, 2013

It is no longer I but Jesus

When I come to realise that my body causes me to sin, I live in conflict with my body. Like St. Paul I lament in despair "how wretched I'm, who will deliver me from this mortal body". All my efforts seem futile and I'm discouraged.

It is not by my sincere striving that I become holy but by my faith in Jesus. My sincere striving must be to believe with absolute certainty that Jesus has taken my broken body and replaced it with His.

The word of God says "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  [Gal 2:20]

When I believe in the word of God that says I'm a new creation, the Holy Spirit makes the Word come true in me. It is the profession of this faith that renews our mind. The body follows suit. The old body with all it's disordered passions is crucified with Jesus.

"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." [1Pet 2:4]

I now live in a new body, the body of Jesus that is teaming with life. The body I receive from Jesus is not just the flesh but Jesus in his entirety i.e. body blood, soul and divinity. Jesus becomes a reality that dwells in me. I can thus say with St. Paul "it is longer I but jesus who lives in me".

What takes place in our body is similar to what takes place during the consecratory prayer. When the word of God is pronounced, the Holy Spirit changes the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. The same transubstantiation that takes place in the former takes place in our body too. Our broken body is changed into the body of Jesus except for it's appearance. We will look, walk and talk the same way as before but in essence we are a new and transformed person confirmed to the person of Jesus just as the Eucharist preserves it's appearance of bread but changes into the body and blood of Jesus.

We begin to experience redemption in our bodies. We relive the meaning of our body that is to be a gift. Beginning with great love for God and for all humanity, people both good and bad. The suffering God allows becomes a gift and an opportunity for us to rejoice because Christ has found us to be worthy to suffer disgrace for His sake. [Acts 5:41]

The hatred and resistance of the world does not discourage us nor does our love for them deplete.  The world will hate us because we are not of the world. They will persecute us because we are different from them. Jesus said Do not be afraid, I have conquered the world. [John 16:33]. He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. [1 John 4:4]

The key to life's fulfilment is unwavering Faith and an insatiable desire for an intimate friendship with Jesus Christ. Both these are a gifts and not attained by human effort. Let us pray thus, Lord increase our faith and increase our friendship with you. 

Jesus reveals his mysteries to his friends. We mature in faith and friendship as we receive revelations from Jesus. The monologue soon becomes a dialogue. Pray persistently for a desire to see more of God and never to become content with what is already revealed.  

Let our faith and love for Christ grow leaps and bounce until we can say without doubt "It is no longer I but Jesus who lives in me."