Born at Bethlehem, he works as a carpenter at Nazareth until he is about 30 years old.
– He goes about teaching a realm of justice, faith, and love. He finds fault with the prejudices of the times and discreetly proclaims himself Son of God and Messiah.
– The Jews, who were waiting for a glorious Messiah, have him condemned to death. His tomb is found empty. His disciples claim he has been resurrected. They proclaim him both Lord and Christ.
– They set about forming Christian communities wherein practiced communal ownership and brotherly love are.
– All these occurred. They are “historical…” I want to show you this Christ who lived 2,000 years ago and who lives today. I have encountered him in my own life and he has made me free. This is the Christ I present, for you to come to know as a friend.
– This God-Man is poor. And because he is poor, he is free. No slave to power, he puts himself at the service of others because he loves mankind. Human suffering, illness, and death make him weep.
– Christ belongs to my race. He is a man, and he’s sensitive. The strangest thing is that I also belong to his race. In me there’s something divine… At bottom, his own life, the life of God, resides in every one of us.
– He is a worker. He makes plow handles. He knows joy. He likes parties. He has friends. He knows weariness. He dares to take sides against the injustice of important men. He knows how to use anger. When it is called for, he speaks harshly.
– He was persecuted because of his notions of God. He has lived with children, the handicapped, the poor, lepers, prostitutes and the deprived classes of those times.
– He lets me glimpse what infinity will be like. He has experienced all of our thirsting for love, for live, for some meaning beyond, or just to release emotions. His death and resurrection give me a glimpse of what yet become of me.
– The Christ I have found loves sinners. He loves me then. He knows how to pardon.
– He dies to save all men. “There is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’s friends”. He teaches me what it is to know how to lay down one’slife, just as my father and my mother gave all their life’s blood for me, drop by drop.
– WhenI’m in the dark his Word enlightens me. In the Gospel there is always a message for me.
– Christ is a God who inspires confidence. He loves Peter in spite of his denial. He loves me, even me, in spite of my denials.
– The Christ I find is a man of solitude. He feels a need to withdraw to the desert for prayer and reflection. Another thing about him that strikes me is his nocturnal vigilance; he often spends the whole night praying.
– My Christ is a just man. He lets his conscience speak right out even if that brings down enemies upon him. Battling with the Pharisees, he is not afraid of their ideas.
– He speaks well. “Never before has a man spoken as this one does”. Out of his mouth, my Christ’s mouth, come forth the most beautiful words on love.
– He has been able to conquer hates, He possesses the force of non-violence. He hates no enemy. “Father, forgive them”.
– Before him, I am tiny, but I also feel strong knowing that he loves me.
– At the last Supper, he joins a community wherein he teaches us that he is ready to be consumed that we may live of him. It’s the first Eucharist.
– Often I re-enact the Supper of Christ. During every mass, I suffer some because we are not what he might have wished: united, assembled, and loving.
– My Christ does not impose himself on men. He proposes, untiringly; no, God does not make himself known by a stroke. He experiments, and that takes time.
– My Savior has risen again. There were witnesses to it. And I, I feel him born in me, living in me.
– At first, I felt crushed by my God, finding myself so tiny. Later, I learned that it is only when I feel small before him that he can perform something through me. If I am too large, taking up too much space, he will no longer manifest himself through me.
– One does not discover Christ, my God, by looking at the sky, arms folded. He is to be seen in life, in man, in the signs that are his sacraments.
– My Christ is easily found. He is a person. And a person when you give him a chance to talk is easily explained. When God seems to say nothing to me, it is generally because I feel tired or am not listening.
– For me all this is my Christ: a person I have found, who makes me live, gives me joy of life, and who bequeaths to me, weak as I am, the dignity of being a man.
– On occasion I want to be one of his disciples, like Peter who was crucified at Rome in 66 A.D.
– Like Paul who chose to be beheaded in 68 A.D. rather than deny his faith in Jesus.
– LikeLawrence who belonged to a patrician family of Rome and was burned alive for his faith.
– Like Francis the son of a wealthy merchant of Assissi and given to pleasure, who chose poverty and became the friend of all God’s creatures, his brothers, for Christ.
– In Africa Albert Schweitzer, doctor in music, doctor in theology, doctor in medicine, dedicated his life to a hospital for lepers. Is he not a savior?
– Back in the Occident, in Rome, 1958, John XXIII is elected Pope. According to the prophets, he was going to be a faceless pope. Two years later he opened the ecumenical Council which would stir the Church to profound renewal. Is he not a savior?
– A black pastor, apostle of Christ and of non-violence, called Martin Luther King struggles for social justice. Is he not a savior?
– And are not these all saviors: heads odd families who work without pause to insure the feeding and education of their children? And mothers who don’t stint on personal fatigue to provide happiness for their families?
– And that teacher who shapes a student’s spirit and labors for the flowering of his personality?
– And I, what am I? What do I do…young…student…member of a family… part of a parish?
– Do I belong among those who think only of themselves? Or among those who are open to the needs of others?
– Do I belong among those who have nothing to say because they haven’t lived? Or among those who bring along their experiences?
– Do I belong among those who don’t know what to do? Or among those who have an ideal?
– Do I belong among people with ideas of their own and who also have time for other people?
– Do I belong among those who believe that only their own opinion is valid or among those who respect the ideas of others?
– Do I belong among those who think themselves emancipated, or among those capable of truly dropping their prejudices?
– Do I belong among those who embark on activities, or among those who never embark…?
– Do I belong among those who escape in dreams of paradise, or among those who live in plain reality?
– Do I belong among those who read or hear the news, or among those who never hear or know anything?
– Do I belong among those who wait and put their shoulder to the wheel to start earning their dream, or among those who expect everything to drop into their laps?
– Do I belong to the world of the living, or of the dead?
– Do I belong among those who expect to get everything from pop or from mom, or among those who haven’t got both feet stuck in the same shoe?
– Do I belong among those who only weep, or among those who accomplish something?
– Do I belong among those who can be relaxed even while on the job because they know that God loves the world, or among those who are hard-fisted?
– Do I belong among those who only know their own close chums, or among those capable of making new friends?
– Do I belong among those who spend, or among those whose spirit is free?
– Do I belong among those who wish to find their strength in the Holy Spirit or among those who don’t know where to find nourishment?
– Do I belong among those who stand ready to crush their neighbour, or among those who know that crushing another man always brings unhappiness?
– Do I belong among those for whom other people are fools, or among those for whom other persons are worthy and vital?
– Do I belong among those who believe they know Christ, or among those who are seeking to know him?
– Do I belong among those who live withdrawn, or among those who run to find out what the noise was about?
– Do I belong among those who take the drug of new religions, or among those who have let fall their prejudices before the Gospel?
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Rev. Eusebe-H. Menard