“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.”
The life of Christ, his teaching, his actions is the basis and example of the life of a Christian disciple. After all, ‘discipleship’ means to ‘to hear’ ‘to follow’. If that is the case, then the high ideal is a life of sacrificial love that knows no bounds. The disciples who were martyrs would say that ‘no bounds’ includes one’s life. This process is a letting go of one’s pretensions and becoming meek and humble like Jesus. However, as soon as we hear the that word ‘humble’ we cringe – let alone doing the self-sacrificing bit!
Yet, when we look at the lives of the saints we see obedience and humility that is powerful, self-aware and effective.
John the Baptist is a good example. Humility made John aware of whom he was before the Lord. It is a subtle distinction between knowing ‘what I am’ to ‘that I am’. He was the creature; the Lord was the Creator. He the servant, the Lord is the Master. John understood that the only stance before the Lord was humility. Yet, by contrast, in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and calling people back to God he was a servant who was fearless.
We see this characteristic as the distinguishing mark of all the saints – beginning with Peter and Paul and moving down the Christian centuries; humble before the Lord and yet powerful with Him. Is all this easy? By no means! Our natural human instinct is preserve our identity and ego and not to let go of it. We like being in control. However, the journey to being like Christ comes from our spiritual discipline of prayer, study and Eucharistic life. This is discipline that opens our heart and mind to God’s power and grace – shaping us into being the Image and Likeness of Christ.
This is an ongoing process, a pilgrimage of growing into our Life in Christ.