Being a Little Christ

The daily trials are so intense. 

Standing in line at an Italian government agency, an old lady shouts on and on at an official and he just looks away and ignores her. Losing days to Covid, to tax concerns, to quarantine. Separated from loved ones. Relegated to Italian internet which just does not work. Relegated to Italy’s mis-handling of the pandemic, the vaccine rollout, and unrealistic regulations. 

How do I handle it? The temptation to anger, sadness, and living in constant self-protection and defensiveness is palpably real. 

Then I ask myself, what gift is lying hidden for me, ready to open and enjoy, in my faith? God’s gift for me today is captured in this quote: 

“Christ is present in us. All that the Son of God did and taught is not for us simply a matter of history. Here and now we experience his power at work. It is not only the martyrs who share in his passion by their glorious courage; the same is true, by faith, of all who are reborn through baptism. As we have died with him, and have been buried and raised to life with him, so we bear him within us, both in body and spirit, in everything we do.” (adapted from a passage by Leo the Great)

Being a living sacrifice; being a little Christ; being filled with the Spirit of God so that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20). 

How does this happen? First through passionate love for God and his Son; also through my baptism and the Eucharist; then through daily offering up our trials, moments of affliction, frustrations, limitations, failures, sorrows and weaknesses to be united with Christ on the cross. But then always back to passionate love for Jesus, in all that he is, says and does. How could I survive without daily prayer, daily conversation with the One who loves me so personally, so faithfully, so fervently? Becoming a little Christ. Oh the mystery.