Thursday, September 26, 2019

Is head knowledge of Jesus enough?

“Who do the crowds say that I am?”  They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”  Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Luke 9: 18 - 20).

Friday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Vincent de Paul, Priest (1581 - 1660). For many people around the world, St Vincent de Paul needs no introduction. His name and prestige blesses the world-wide charitable organization that ministers spiritually and materially to the needs of the poor, the homeless and the very needy.

Toward the end of His public ministry, Jesus asked His disciples who He is. Through an inspiration from above, Peter got the answer correctly: “The Messiah of God.”
Today, Jesus has billions of followers. How many of Jesus followers know their Leader? Knowing Jesus involves two interconnected areas of knowledge:

#1 Facts about Jesus: Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and buried. He rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into heaven. These facts are in the Creed of the Christian Churches.

#2 The second type of knowledge is spiritual knowledge of Jesus. This knowledge is experiencial. It comes through personal encounter with Jesus in Prayer, the word of God, Eucharist, Reconciliation and Ministry. The Holy Spirit whom we receive in the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation reveals to us who Jesus truly is.

Peter and the other disciples of Jesus could not truly know who Jesus is until they had experienced the shock of the Crucifixion and the Restoration of the Resurrection. With the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they received the gifts and the tools to live their new life and embark on their mission.

Our Journey of Faith may follow this trajectory:
Head knowledge of Jesus >> Spiritual knowledge of Jesus >> The Holy Spirit power.
Where are you on this Journey?

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me and sent me to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted." (Cf Luke 4: 18).

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