Friday, April 2, 2010

8 Follow CHRIST, Serve the PEOPLE*

Follow Christ, Serve the People

I cannot consider myself as an ardent and faithful follower of Christ. Just like everyone else, I do get swayed by temptations easily and fall into sin. But despite that, I'm trying hard to follow his living example.

Lately, I had been finding myself engaged in deep reflection. I've been trying to scan the past 20 years of my life if I had been able to do something for Christ and if I had been able to somehow live out his examples in my life. Well, I found some.

There had been several instances wherein I had been able to give alms - specifically food. I had also tried to become active in several church-based and Catholic organizations (like YFC and SFC). I had been also, once in my life, tried to pray the rosary everyday that lasted for quite some time. I had also been attending mass regularly (though there had been times that I had not been able to). I had tried to put up a blog in the past that tried to defend Catholic doctrines and teachings (inspired by the relentless attacks by INC and Ang Dating Daan). And just recently, I had been religiously visiting the adoration chapel to spend some time in prayer.

But as I look in each action that I did to follow Christ, none of them had been really of service to him.

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The Mass (for Catholics) is the highest form of worship that we can ever give to Christ. It is the time wherein we are all gathered in front of Him to praise and worship him. But for me, even if we regularly attend Mass, it is no sign that we are indeed following Christ's teachings on love.

We can sing our hearts out for him, actively participate as a lector, commentator or lay minister, give thousands of pesos to the church or feed the poor. But these things are not enough. Even Christ recognizes that.

He rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes for being too superficial with their faith (Matthew 23).

He reminds us that we cannot truly follow him if we cannot leave behind our riches in this world (Matthew 19: 16-24).

He tells us that we need to take up his cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24).

He asks us that if we truly love him we need to feed the sheep of his flock (John 21:17).

But what do all these bible passages have to do with truly following Christ so we can serve the people?

Christ simply wants us to take the path where most people never even dared to walk through.

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As we all know, being an activist or an outspoken critic of the status quo in this country is dangerous. You would surely get killed or immediately tagged by the military as a communist. Leftists in particular, are often criticized for their seemingly irrational acts like the recent events in PUP and UP. Leftists are often branded as barbaric, uncivilized and war freak people who only wanted to sow 'terror' and disturb the 'peaceful life everyone has.'

But what these people failed to realize (especially for Christians), that if they're going to put themselves in the same context that Christ lived, they were the ones who crucified him.

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It would be a bit too much to liken activists/leftists to Christ. But, we should also realize that in Jesus time, he was also heavily criticized by these 'holy and righteous people' because Christ had been very radical in his words and action. People then were scandalized to see Him eating with taxpayers, mingling with a prostitute and healing lepers. They could not accept then that a 'man' like Him would claim to be the Messiah and God himself.

He was decried by many for his breaking the rules, disobeying the laws and taking into his fold the most oppressed people of that time.

And while those who claim righteousness are busy in bringing Christ down, they turn a blind eye to the people whom Christ are evangelizing and helping.


Now, isn't it the same as what these 'civilized' people are doing?

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Christ is calling each and every one of us that if we truly want to serve him, we have to serve his people. Sacraments and traditions are okay but they are just the tip of the iceberg. The real meaning of being a true Christian lies in being able to reach out to the people of God and be one with them so that one day we may be truly free - freedom from injustice, oppression and poverty. But he also tells us that it won't be easy. People will see it as scandalous, barbaric, radical, anarchic and an irrational act that only aims to disturb the status quo.

Well, that's what Christ wants us to do.

He want us to disturb the present social order. He wants us to enlighten the people. He wants us to give our all no matter what happens - just like what Christ did on that cross.

He was crucified for simply carrying out the real message of love: service to the people.

Reflect on that my dear friends. Reflect on what happened thousands of years ago on this Good Friday.

And may it enlighten us to truly FOLLOW CHRIST and SERVE THE PEOPLE.

*The title is derived from the call to action (or is it tagline) by the Student christian Movement of the Philippines or SCMP, a militant, progressive, mass-oriented youth organization in the Philippines. For more info about them visit their Facebook Page or see this article about them here.

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8 comments:

  1. Ang YFC din at ang mga aral na natutunan ko dito sa paglilingkod sa Diyos at sa kapwa ang siyang nag udyok sa akin na sumali sa mga progressive orgs na nagdadala ng STP.

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  2. I admire your work. showing how real christianity is as a proponent of social change instead of prevailing the old rotten social order. Somehow the christian right may expect to read and attack it side by side as a response from it, but then they can't take every word from the bible whilst bannering it. By the way, May I share it in my blog?

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  3. Christ rebuked the pharisees yes but never did he stir up rebellion. Rebellion was the sin the banished lucifer from the kingdom of God, rebellion/disobedience was the sin that banished Adam and Eve from Eden. I am a Christian and I know what is happening in our country... but rallying in the streets is not what Jesus would want. why?

    "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities for there is no authority except from God and those authorities that EXIST have been instituted by God. Therefore WHOEVER RESISTS AUTHORITY, RESISTS WHAT GOD HAS APPOINTED." romans 13:1-2

    Follow Christ by following his example.. being OBEDIENT.. even to the point of death on the cross. He has the power to wipe out the pharisees but he didn't. There are lots of examples in the bible that talk about OBEDIENCE, SUBMISSION and REBELLION.

    I'm not saying that we should shut up and let these corrupt men do what they want to do but what I'm trynna say is if we are to follow chris, we are to follow his example.

    Godbless

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  4. It doesn't really matter if you feel you took the wrong way. You can always turn your back from it. The most important thing though, is learning something after, and ending up on His side no matter what :)

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  5. Being tempted is not the issue diba. At least you try to find a way back to God. I'm happy for you! :)

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  6. @ELAY: Yes. Christ did not stir up a rebellion but instead started a revolution. :) It was a revolt against sin. Yes, he told us to give what is due to what governs us here and what is due to Him. But God did not tell us to be blind and numb to the realities that we are facing. He told us to feed His sheep. He told us to uplift the poor.

    And if we are to truly follow his example, we should be obedient to him - the only righteous one we could ever look up to.

    With what you are telling me, it seems that this government is anointed by God but please, take a look around and see if God would want His people to experience more pain, poverty and oppression.

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  7. And I would like to repeat what I have said in my post:

    "He want us to disturb the present social order. He wants us to enlighten the people. He wants us to give our all no matter what happens - just like what Christ did on that cross.

    He was crucified for simply carrying out the real message of love: service to the people."

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  8. I hate making long comments.. to make it short this is my point. REBELLION IS SIN. Whether we rebel by actions or by heart it is SIN.

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