by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves." (John 4:42)
Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?
Everyone has the right to experience Jesus personally. The angel Gabriel appeared to the shepherds and said, "I bring you good news that will bring joy to all people" (Luke 2:10). Today, we are confused with partial, distorted and superficial knowledge of Jesus. What and who to believe is an answerable question now. The Church and its leaders can guide and lead us to the life giving waters of the Spirit, but it is we, who should drink the waters of the Spirit to quench our own thirst.
"I will pour out my spirit up on all people" (Acts 2:17). The Holy Spirit is released to men, women, slaves, Jews, Gentiles and all of humanity. This is not a special privilege to a few people. Ask, seek, knock, wait, fast and pray; then, at the appointed time, Jesus will appear to each one of us and stay with us just like our parents. As a teacher, He will teach us what to believe, whom to depend on, and how to live. We all should trust that some day, some where, Jesus will break his silence and reveal Himself to those who believe in Him. We should have the courage to pursue and find Jesus ourselves.
In the sixteenth century, Ignatius of Loyola said that at the time of his conversion, he had no one to turn to for guidance. So the Lord Himself taught him the way, just like how a school teacher would teach a child. He once declared that even if all the scriptures were destroyed, he would hold on to what the Lord had taught him personally.
We are wrong to blame the Church and its leaders for our confused and deplorable conditions of life. We can only blame ourselves because we lack the firmness to pursue and find Jesus ourselves.
Jesus, you are our Lord and God. You want to live in our hearts. Let each one of us be blessed to experience a personal encounter with You. Let us hear the noise of your knock on our doors. "Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as a friend." (Revelation 3:20). All we ask in the name of Jesus.
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