"A Personal Relationship With Jesus"


When I was in college, there was a woman who worked in our food service. Since it was a small college, and we all ate in the same cafeteria, we got to know the workers, at least by face.

Whenever this lady was working, if she caught your eye, she'd ask, "Do you know Jesus?" Of course, we were all smart-alecky about it.

As Catholics, we often get asked that perplexing question: "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" And our answer is usually, "Uh......"

Catholics don't use that phrase. It's not Biblical for one thing. (Then Jesus commanded His disciples to go out and make personal relationships in His name...) For another, it is sort of ... obvious. We are baptized in the name of Christ, we receive His Body and Blood at every Mass, we are devoted to His Sacred Heart and His Divine Mercy .... That's about as personal as you can get.

Pope Benedict XVI was great at reminding us of this:
For us, the Holy Father concluded, Christianity "is not a new philosophy or a new form of morality. We are only Christians if we encounter Christ, even if He does not reveal Himself to us as clearly and irresistibly as he did to Paul in making him the Apostle of the Gentiles. We can also encounter Christ in reading Holy Scripture, in prayer, and in the liturgical life of the Church - touch Christ's heart and feel that Christ touches ours. And it is only in this personal relationship with Christ, in this meeting with the Risen One, that we are truly Christian."
I was talking to one of my nieces this morning. She told me that she babysits a couple of kids in the summer, from a family she knows from church. The first time the kids came in their house, they looked at a wall of photos - family pics mostly, but also a prominent picture of Jesus. One of the kids turned to her, stupefied, and asked, "You know Jesus personally?"

The next time you get that "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ" question from a hearty evangelical brother or sister, you can easily say, "Of course. In fact, my relationship with Him is so personal that I have His life within me, just like He says in John 6. What about you?"

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