THE readings of the Mass of the Third Sunday of Easter, Year B, (Acts 3,13-15.17-19; 1 Jn 2,1-5; Lk 24-35-48) tell us that it was out of ignorance that the people then crucified Christ, the very savior of mankind, but that Christ offered mercy to them. They, as well as all of us, are now enjoined to be penitent and to be converted, and to know the real Christ by knowing and living God’s commandments.

This should be a main concern of ours—how to know Christ properly. It should be a knowledge that is not merely intellectual, but rather existential, affecting and involving our whole being in the different aspects and dimensions of our life.

It cannot be denied that we often think we can attain true knowledge simply by depending on our sciences, technologies, philosophies and ideologies. While these sources of human knowledge offer us a lot of data, information, facts, etc., unless they are inspired, pursued and developed with love and ultimate identification with Christ as prime motive and final goal, we would still be prone to commit grave mistakes.

And the worst part of it is that those mistakes can be committed even with some good intentions. That’s what happened to the Jews of Christ’s time. They thought that what they were doing in crucifying Christ was the good thing to do.

We have to be most wary of this danger and do everything to avoid and counter it. And the first thing to do is to seriously study the life and example of Christ who can also be described as the fullness of the revelation of God to us. In other words, he is the fullness of truth that we need to know and live by.

We need to realize that Christ is the fullness of God’s revelation in the sense that through him, God has communicated to mankind the totality of truths He chose to reveal to man. Be that as it may, we also have to realize that given the disparity between the supernatural nature of God and our wounded human nature that is being drawn to God, this Christian revelation is not yet completely explicit.

In other words, our task to know Christ by following his will and commandments will always be a work in progress. We can never say that we will know everything. The perfection of our knowledge of Christ can only come about through God’s grace. Ours is simply to be as docile as possible to what God will be showing and sharing with us.

In this, we have these relevant words of St. Paul: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1,6) These words of St. Paul should remind us that while we should be as aggressive as we can in knowing Christ’s life and example, in living out his commandments, we should also be humble to acknowledge our total dependence on God’s grace.

This is how we can truly be wise with the wisdom that was described in the Letter of St. James in this way: “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (3,17)
This wisdom can only be shown in one’s good life and in deeds that are done in humility. Otherwise, it can be a wisdom, as St. James said, that is “earthly, unspiritual, demonic.”