By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)
Talamban, Cebu City
IF we are to be authentic Christians, we have to know how
to channel Christ to everyone in every situation. We have to know how
to show Christ to everyone. We have to have his mind, his spirit. Our
words and deeds, our reactions to things and our behaviour in general
should be those of Christ first before they are ours. The ideal state
for us is when anyone who sees or hears us sees and hears Christ.
And this is because our identity is fundamentally based on
being God’s image and likeness. And Christ as the Son of God, the
second person in the Blessed Trinity, is God’s own perfect image and
likeness. Our humanity in effect is patterned after him.
And as God who became man, Christ is the savior of our
humanity that is damaged by sin. Christ is therefore the pattern and
savior of all mankind before we put in our personal and specific
qualities, traits, peculiarities, etc., that would make each of us a
It is this basic Christian pattern of humanity that makes
us all children of God and brothers and sisters among ourselves
regardless of our personal, racial and other various differences among
ourselves. It is this basic Christian identity of all mankind that
urges us to care and love one another. We have to see in each one of
us the image of Christ, and together with that image, the whole
That is why our theologians have described each one of us
to be “alter Christus” (another Christ). And Christ himself said that
he is “the way, the truth and the life.” Our life can only be true
life when it is lived in Christ who as God created us before it is
procreated by our parents. Our life has God the Son as its pattern and
Christ as its redeemer after our fall.
We have to learn to show Christ to everyone everywhere.
And this is especially so among the clergy who are conformed to Christ
as head of Christ’s body, the Church. That is why the clergy should
always be mindful of who they are and who they represent. They have to
be clear about their mission in life which should be the very mission
Christ came into our world.
That is why we cannot overemphasize the need for the
clergy to truly assume the identity of Christ. Whatever he says and
does should be done in such a way that it can be clearly seen and
understood that it is Christ as head of the Church, bent only on
saving men, who is doing it. They have to always assume the role of
ministers who work for Christ and not for themselves nor for anybody
or anything else.
To put it bluntly, the spotlight should always be on
Christ. It would be a disorder if the clergy would grab it, even if
only partially, for themselves. Things should be such that after each
priestly duty, the people who benefited from it should be thankful to
Christ and should be made to feel Christ’s redemptive work on them.
The clergy should see to it that all his talents and other
God-given endowments be fully at the service of the redemptive work of
Christ. They should always have rectitude of intention and the
constant awareness that it is Christ whom they are serving.
They have to be most careful with the frequent temptation
to be proud, vain and feeling privileged and entitled because of their
position. They have to learn how to give themselves fully to their
ministry and yet know how to hide and disappear, so that it is only
Christ whom people get to see and hear.
Their responsibility to personify Christ is graver than
that of the laity. They have to be so identified and united with
Christ in a living way that they can echo St. Paul’s words: “Be
imitators of me as I am an imitator of Christ.” (1 Cor 11,1)