THIS is the law we should follow in our life here on earth. It is Christ who shapes and leads the way for us, and we should just follow. Why? Precisely because Christ is the pattern of our humanity, the savior of our damaged humanity. Our life here on earth is a test to see whether we would like to be with Christ, as we should, or to be by ourselves which, though very attractive to us, is actually a tragedy for us.

We are reminded of this truth of our faith in the readings of the Mass for the 5th Sunday of Lent, Year B. (cfr. Jer 31,31-34 / Ps 51,3-4.12-13.14-15 / Heb 5,7-9 / Jn 12,20-33). They talk about God making a new covenant with the people, creating a new heart for them, and of how that covenant is perfected by Christ as long as we, the people, would follow him by dying to ourselves so Christ can live in us.

“If any man ministers to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be,” Christ said. But for this to happen, he also said: “Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it, and that he hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life eternal.”

And for us to believe, obey and follow what Christ indicated, we are also given some clue, and that is when the Letter to the Hebrews, the 2nd reading of Mass for the 5th Sunday of Lent, said: “Whereas indeed he (Christ) was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. And being consummated, he became to all that obey him, the cause of eternal salvation.”

It’s important that we meditate thoroughly on these words of divine wisdom, so we can have a clear idea of what our life here on earth is all about and what we can and should do to pursue the real and ultimate purpose of our life. We cannot be cavalier in our attitude toward this serious duty of ours.

Given, of course, our usual wounded human condition, we really would need to develop a certain plan that would effectively put us on track with respect to this duty of ours to pursue the real goal of our life. It cannot be denied that we have to contend with our many limitations like our tendency to be lazy, complacent, unbelieving, etc.

Everyone should be made to understand that this duty is incumbent on everyone. So, we should just help everyone in inculcating this very basic duty of ours, starting in the family and radiating to the ever widening and growing levels and dimensions of society and human life itself.

Yes, it’s going to involve a “bloody” struggle. But we are assured of victory as long as we go along with Christ who makes himself all available to us. We should never think that we will be going through this struggle by our lonesome, relying only on our own human powers. It’s true that what we would be tackling is overwhelming. But if we only open ourselves to God, nothing would be impossible for us.

We have to strengthen our belief that God never abandons us. It is rather us who can abandon him. That’s the problem that we have to try our best to resolve. If our faith is strong, we would know how to go through the process of suffering and dying to ourselves so we can rise with Christ.