Most of us know the story of Christ. We have either read it ourselves or have heard it in church. We hear readings every Sunday about Christ’s life, whether it’s His birth, or a miracle He is performing, or showing us just how deep His love is in His passion and death. But, how many of us have taken the time to journey WITH Christ through His life? I know I never took the time, aside from maybe a small prayer here or a reflection there, but never through His whole life. After Christmas break, the day I returned to Covecrest, God started me on a journey: a journey to travel with His Son through His entire life, and to get to know Jesus, not just know about Him. Not even to just know about the miracles He performed, but to KNOW Jesus in His humanity, on a very personal level.
When we returned to Covecrest, we as missionaries began an 8-day silent retreat, in which we couldn’t speak to anyone other than at spiritual direction, mass, and confession. That was it. If you know me well, then you know that I’m a very outgoing person. I talk a lot, and I love to laugh, so I knew these eight days would be interesting. I just didn’t know how much God had in store for me. When the silent retreat started, I went to my first meeting with my spiritual director for the retreat (which was a women by the way – can you say awkward?). But really, God did great work through it, so praise Him! We each had about five holy hours a day, and Storm, my spiritual director, decided to start me at the nativity, getting to witness with birth of Christ. It was one of the most beautiful times of prayer I’ve ever had.
But God didn’t stop there. While continuing the retreat, Storm discerned (which means prayed into) that I would simply continue to journey with Christ through His entire life. I literally went from the Nativity, to being with the apostles when they where called, to witnessing miracles that Jesus performed, to His passion and death, through to His glorious resurrection, and into His accession. Seems pretty basic right? But wow, how God moves through simplicity sometimes! In journeying with Christ during those eight days, I got to know Christ as a human, by praying and journaling. I asked Him why He did this or why He said that, and as I journaled, I just had words pop into my mind and that was Christ’s response. How crazy is that? I was tempted almost every prayer time to think, “There is no way that this is Jesus telling me these things,” but I just felt the urge to keep praying and doing what I was doing.
In one of my holy hours, I was praying into the lowering of the paralytic man through the roof (Mark 2:1-12), and after asking Jesus about the healing and other things, I simply asked Him, “What was your reaction when they opened the roof and lowered the man down to you? That must have been an odd sight.” As I continued journaling, the words I wrote as what Jesus said were, “It was hilarious. I laughed.” Then I panicked. Could I really write that? Could I really say that Jesus laughed? I was tempted to scratch that out, but in my heart, I suddenly felt like God was saying, “Felix, trust me. It’s me.”
There where many instances like this. As I continued to journey with Christ, I just learned about Jesus, in His humanity. It was so personal, knowing Christ AS MAN! But wait, THERE’S MORE! As I learned more about Christ and who He was as a human, God began to reveal to me who I am! I began to discover who I am, what fears I truly have, why I have them, and why I want to follow God so closely. I never knew that in discovering Christ as man, I would discover myself and answers to the questions I have always had about myself. This must have been what it was like to be an Apostle: to not only journey with Christ, but in getting to know Christ, knowing themselves. That must be why the Apostles where such great saints: they fully knew Christ and fully knew themselves and the gifts God had bestowed on them.
God is so good to me. He is continuing to heal me and show me who He is, and in return, He is showing me more who I am every day. I encourage you all to take time to sit down in a peaceful place. Not too peaceful: don’t want you falling asleep. Then, begin to read through the Gospel. Look for a certain story that really stands out to you. Then put yourself in the story. Begin to ask Christ questions, and when He ask you questions, don’t be afraid to answer. You WILL discover Christ, and in turn, discover who you are more and more.
Matthew 4:19 – “Come follow me….”