O man, do you not realize by what means Christ pursues you in order to call you back?

Saint Peter Chrysologus wrote this in the 5th century as a part of a reflection on the Nativity. These words remind me of the Parable of the Lost Sheep, where Jesus says that God is like a shepherd he leaves behind the rest of his flock to pursue the one sheep who ran away. The shepherd searches the roads and ditches for the wayward sheep “until he finds it” (Luke 15:4).

O man, do you not realize by what means Christ pursues you in order to call you back?

We often fall into the trap of believing that it is we who need to pursue God. Much of the time, it is hard to imagine that God could possibly be chasing after me. How frequently do we think, “I have to clean up my life before he will come. I will have to put in a lot of work and at least meet him halfway before he will save me. God couldn’t possibly want to meet me where I am!” 

O man, do you not realize by what means Christ pursues you in order to call you back?

Pope Francis has recently called attention to a mindset called the “technocratic paradigm,” which “despises the limit that another’s value imposes” (Let Us Dream, p. 34). It’s not hard to see this mindset throughout the world. It’s not hard to see it in my own heart. There really is wickedness inside of me.

O man, do you not realize by what means Christ pursues you in order to call you back?

But the heart of God isn’t broken like the hearts of sinful humanity. God’s pursuit of each of us is both free and limitless. He pursues me. He pursues you. He welcomes the impositions we place on him to save us from our own selfishness. More than that. “The Divine Being took upon himself the seal of humanity, in order for humanity to be decorated by the seal of Divinity” (St. Isaac the Syrian). God openly took on my humanity to make me divine.

O man, do you not realize by what means Christ pursues you in order to call you back?

Do you not realize? The Incarnation is our central mystery, everything else we believe rests on the reality that God became man. “The beginningless Word mysteriously accepts a beginning….The Uncontainable is contained by flesh” (Catechism of the Ukraniane Catholic Church, 193). God did this to save me.

O man, do you not realize by what means Christ pursues you in order to call you back? He enters the womb in order to refashion you in the womb; he is born in order to make you reborn to immortality; he becomes the Firstborn in order to offer you a share in the divine lineage.

 

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Paul Fahey is a husband, father of four, parish director of religious education, and co-founder of Where Peter Is.  He can be found at his website, Rejoice and be Glad: Catholicism in the Pope Francis Generation

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