There is a very beautiful story that I heard recently about an American soldier who got captured during the Second World War, and thrown in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. He wad thrown in the same cell as a Japanese prisoner and was tortured, but not nearly as bad as the Japanese man. Everyday, the American man would share his food with him and tend to his wounds as best he could. One day, the Japanese man got tortured so badly that the American knew he wouldn’t make it. He felt he should share one last thing with him before his time of death, and that was Christ. He goes over to the Japanese man and says, “You know, you’re probably going to die tonight. But you don’t have to be afraid. If you give your life to Jesus you will live forever.” The Japanese man looked over at him and said,”If this Jesus is anything like you, I can’t wait to meet him.”
What a powerful statement! But if we truly think about it that is how we are all called to live. As Catholics, as Disciples of Christ, our job is to reflect Him not only in our words, but in our very lives; how we think, how we act, how we are.
Think about a smart phone and all the apps on it. Each app has it’s own icon that shows an outside reflection of what the app is, and when you click on it you open it up and can see deeper and explore. We are all like those app icons. In Genesis we read that we are “made in the image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:26). What is an image? Something you can see. We are a physical image of God Himself! But the question we have to as ourselves is now, is what do people truly see when they look at us or interact with us. Do they see us, or do they see Christ? Can our family, friends or significant other say to us the same statement the Japanese man did? Can our co-workers or strangers we meet say that to us? “If Jesus is anything like you, I can’t wait to meet Him.”
We can have the most knowledge and dedication in our faith in the world, but if we don’t reflect that in our everyday lives, people won’t see that. Christ reminds us that, “They will know you are my disciples by your love” (John 13:35). It’s not what or how much we do, but HOW we do it.
Be that icon of Jesus, so that when people look at you or encounter you, they won’t just see you, they will see and encounter Christ!
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