Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 8: Seeing Christ

One of the arguments Christian apologists use to defend the existence of Christ and the reality of the  resurrection is the martyrdom of the Apostles and other witnesses to the Lord's rising.  Surely, we are told, these people would not have died for a lie: they gave their lives in testimony to the fact that they saw the Risen Lord with their own eyes.
There is a similar claim made by St Genesius in his trial.  He says: "There is no other King other than he whom I saw; I adore and worship him".  This seems almost a Pauline moment - like St Paul, Genesius has seen the Lord and that has led him to believe and now he will die for that Lord. 
Central to our Christian faith is the person of Jesus Christ and to be a Christian is to be in a relationship with Christ, to be his disciples.  He is our King and our Lord to whom we owe ultimate allegiance in love.  Pope Benedict XVI once said that each successive generation must discover Christ for themselves and encounter him in a personal way: "see him", as St Genesius suggests.  In that "vision" we will come to know him, love him and be prepared to offer even our very lives for him.
Of course most of us will never have an actual vision of the Lord, but it is in a life of prayer, nourished by the Gospels and the Sacraments that we will come to "see" Christ, encounter him, and sense his presence.  This is why it is important for those who call themselves Christian to actually live the Gospel and foster an authentic spiritual life, one grounded in Christ and the Church.

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