Pope Paul VI once said, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”
We Christians might believe that we are witnesses to Christ, yet in reality we simply put on an external religious form without truly knowing Christ. To know Christ, we cannot be an outsider, standing and observing on the margin. To know Christ, we have to take part in his passion and death, to engage in his sacrifice.
We carry in our own body the sufferings of Christ. We must be the embodiment of Christ. We cannot be transformed into Christ and keep on living our old ways of life. An act of kindness to a neighbor reflects Christ’s self giving spirit and manifests the wounds on Christ’s body. To be Christ means that our pain and suffering are part of transformation of ourselves into Christ.
If college education is just to make money, we are heading in the wrong direction. We are losing our way to Heaven. College is truly is about finding God in life. And God will show us who we should be.
God has a plan for each one of us. It is essential to understand our role in the life of the world and in the church: What does God want from us and what does the church need from us?
In the catechism we have three important questions:
What is man?
Why did God make you?
What must I do to save my soul?
If God is our love, He deserves the best we have to offer. God made us so that we may love Him forever in Heaven. Selfishness (love of self) is a big obstacle.
When people ask Jesus the question of how to get to Heaven, Jesus answers by talking about denying self and taking up the cross. Astounding! Jesus asks us to make a big sacrifice. Being a person of God, we raise our life ideal to the highest level of sacrifice for God. With that great love of God we can make a big difference in the world and in the church.
The Eucharist reveals something that people do not always see: The death of Jesus. That is why we proclaim, “When we eat this bread, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus.” At Mass the altar is the hill of Calvary, which is the place of sacrifice where Jesus died.
Just as Jesus died on the cross as the Lamb that was slaughtered and offered to God, Christians follow the example of Jesus and offer ourselves to God through the symbols of bread, wine and water. Few people are aware of the fact that when we enter the church we approach the place of our own sacrifice.
Christian life therefore is a life of sacrifice. The more we become a person for others, the more we imitate the self giving example of Jesus. The Eucharist shows the way to become a disciple of Jesus through self giving work and volunteering opportunities. Our daily sacrifices are united with the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus. That is the true way of being a Christian.