THAT rather amusing gospel episode about those who were so amazed at the preaching of Christ in the synagogue that they could not believe that someone just like them, coming from the same place and whose family they knew, could preach the way Christ did (cfr. Mk 6,1-6), tells us that we have the tendency to take Christ for granted.

Yes, we have the tendency to fall into overfamiliarity and complacency with regard to our relation with Christ. Especially these days when we are so highly stimulated by earthly and temporal things that we forget about the spiritual and supernatural dimensions of our life, we need to make some extra effort to rediscover God by revving up our faith and love.

Let’s always remember that being the image and likeness of God whose very essence is love, we need to realize that it is to love the way God loves, as shown to us by Christ, is the fundamental option of our life. It is what constitutes the real dignity of our humanity.
We have to realize then that to be truly human, let alone, Christian, we need to have a real encounter with Christ. That is when we can truly be on the path toward our transformation into the fullness of our humanity, since that’s where we can see how much Christ loves us.
We should find time to have a very personal encounter with Christ, strengthening our friendship with him, since that would constitute as the fundamental experience that would sustain our Christian life.

And if at times due to our weaknesses, tiredness, etc., we lose him, we know that he always waits for us, and even looks for us or facilitates our finding him even if we do not look for him.

We should realize more deeply that loving God through Christ in the Holy Spirit should be the first priority in our life. We can do that if we develop a working life of piety made up of certain practices of piety that would fire up our love for God and for everybody else.

Let’s remember that whatever little effort we do to develop our life of piety will always attract God’s tremendous love for us, as articulated in that passage in the gospel of St. Matthew: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” (25,21)

We should stay away from anything that would cool down our love for God and for others or that would lead us to spiritual lukewarmness. We have to be wary of our tendency to be driven by egoism or the thought that we are our own God which only shows that we have the strong tendency to fall into pride.

Spiritual lukewarmness is a very common spiritual illness. What’s so dangerous about it is that it often passes as something ordinary and normal. It hardly causes any worry, much less, alarm. It lulls many of us to think there’s no problem.

It’s an attitude, a mindset, and, worse, a culture that is stuck with the minimalist virus, contented with what is practical, convenient, popular, profitable, etc., and goes no further. It justifies itself by saying, “Why do I need to go any further? Things are already ok as they are.”

It is the perfect expression of the adage, “The good is the enemy of the best.” And so, it fails to submit itself to the law of love that requires self-giving without measure, a total self-giving whose language is generosity and heroism all the way to death.