The decision of belief is, above all, one dealing with our existence. Between “yes” and “no” gapes an abyss. While taking place in the silence and shelter of our hearts, the entirety of the Heavens await, holding the breath, for that simple answer, that simple “yes”, that “yes” that resembles the faithful response of a young virgin 2000 years ago.
It implies a leap, but a leap without gravity because once our feet rise from the Earth they don’t stop until reaching the heavens.
The decision to believe answers one fundamental question: “Who do you say that Jesus is?”
To believe is not only believing in “something”. It, as J. Ratzinger explains, “means that man does not regard seeing, hearing, and touching as the totality of what concerns him, that he does not view the area of his world as marked off by what he can see and touch but seeks a second mode of access to reality, a mode he calls in fact belief, and in such a way that he finds in it the decisive enlargement of his whole view of the world. If this is so, then the little word credo contains a basic option vis-à-vis reality as such; it signifies, not the observation of this or that fact, but a fundamental mode of behavior toward being, toward existence, toward one’s own sector of reality, and toward reality as a whole. It signifies the deliberate view that what cannot be seen, what can in no wise move into the field of vision, is not unreal; that, on the contrary, what cannot be seen in fact represents true reality, the element that supports and makes possible all the rest of reality. And it signifies the view that this element that makes reality as a whole possible is also what grants man a truly human existence, what makes him possible as a human being existing in a human way. In other words, belief signifies the decision that at the very core of human existence there is a point that cannot be nourished and supported on the visible and tangible, that encounters and comes into contact with what cannot be seen and finds that it is a necessity for its own existence.”
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In drawing close to Christ, we must open our hearts, our minds, and our lives to the reality that the answers, the answers that respond to those desires, those questions, those anxieties and those dreams that vibrate in the depths of our souls, are to not to be found in this world alone. The conviction of belief is the conviction that there is something more. This conviction discovers in the encounter of Christ that this “something more” has a face. Through His incarnation, Christ comes to us, he becomes present among us, he reminds us that God is indeed without, even though we can not experience him as we do material realities. As the video so beautifully represents: “By His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice(23) and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.(GS 24)” Still, we must always remember that Christ comes to bring us to His Father, He invites us to become sons and daughters of God (an indeed we become so thanks to the sacrament of Baptism), He invites us to ascend with Him.
Thus, in recognizing that Jesus is indeed something more, we must also realize and welcome the invitation that he makes to us to also become something more, to become “sons in the Son”, to participate in His divine nature. The radicality of his Incarnation must become the foundation for the radicality of our conversion. This invitation will be fulfilled in its entirety only after the second coming, yet it is a process that begins with our Baptism and is deepened through our daily cooperation.
Here, then, lies the radicality of the Christian message. God becomes Man and then invites Man to become like God (not however in the sinful sense as seen in the Garden of Even, rather in and through Jesus Christ). The belief in Christ, that “yes” to him being something more” cannot remain external to who we are and how we live. Recognizing Christ’s identity DEMANDS that we accept our own. This means that we must strip ourselves of the “old man” and become new creatures in Christ. This is certainly no walk in the park and requires a continual and daily combat, always understood in the context of God’s mercy and patience.
When doing apostolate then, we must be very clear about the significance of believing in Christ. A Christian life cannot be reduced to a simple conceptual acceptance, it implies our entire life, our entire being, our way of thinking, our way of feeling, our way of acting, our way of crying, our way of dreaming… everything. To say yes to Christ, is to say yes to that desire that rumbles within us all: the desire for something more. This desire, this desire for happiness, has a face: Jesus Christ.