To know Christ and to make Christ known to others

To be Catholic is to be an Apostle. Jesus formed people to be His disciples, to be his true followers and to live according to God’s Plan. After teaching and mentoring people, He also called 12 men to be Apostles to help him spread the Good News to the whole world. Like them, we are also called to be apostles in today’s world, to announce the Truth with our lives.

In order to do that, we need to know Christ, He in whom “we have put our hope” (2Cor 1:10). To know Christ means to know our faith. How much do you know your faith? It is important to study, to read the Bible with the light given by the teachings of the Catholic Church and to study the catechism. As we know more our faith, we will fall in love with it; we will discover its richness and find answer to the fundamental questions we have in life.

Study is important, but it is not enough. If we want to develop a relationship with Christ, we also need to pray, so that Christ will not be just one more topic in our minds or in a conversation, but a real person with whom we relate every day of our life. It is only in prayer that Christians find the strength to go on in life, persevering, firm in the faith (Col 2:7), in the midst of a world that proclaims false idols, a world that wants us to think that what our Catholic Faith teaches is old and doesn't respond to our longings anymore.

Do you pray? What do you pray and how do you pray? Do you pay attention at mass? The Eucharist is the center of our faith. Christ himself is present in the Eucharist. He comes to meet us. He is waiting for us in the tabernacle of every Church. We must go and visit Him as often as we can. There is no other formula on how to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament than to open our heart and trust Him.
Another very important point is to live out our faith. There is no better way to make Christ known to others than by example. If we read in the Bible the encounters that Jesus had with people, we always find that after each encounter, the person who encountered Him is not the same. Their lives were totally changed.

In the Gospel today we have two reactions after Jesus tells his disciples that He is the Bread of Life. First we heard about those who gave up because they could not understand what He was saying: “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” (Jn 6:66). But we also heard Peter’s answer: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:68-69). Peter answered in the name of the twelve, professing the same faith we believe today and to which we are called to give witness before others.

Perhaps you are reading this because you went to mass and got the bulletin or because somebody brought it to your house. Well, I don’t believe in coincidences. If I were you, I would try to ask myself: “Do I really know Christ? Do I have a personal and close relationship with Him? Does this relationship lead me to announce Him to others?” It requires courage to be able to face these important questions; when we are able to respond “Yes” to these questions, we will find true happiness on earth and eternal life in heaven. As Blessed Pope John Paul the Great said “don’t be afraid, open, open wide the doors to Christ”.

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