Eight-year old Jack, along with his parents were watching a Passion Play.
( Passion Play is the dramatic presentation of the Passion of Jesus Christ – His suffering, death and resurrection)
Jack was very much emotionally involved watching the play.
>> The sufferings that Jesus was undergoing was having a deep emotional impact on li’l Jack.
The drama progressed to the scene, where Jesus is stood before the people…
… and Pilate asks the crowd for their choice of persons: Barabbas or Jesus
So the one who was acting as Pilate, stood before the audience, with Jesus and Barabbas on his two sides.
>> And with a loud voice, he asked:
” So whom do you want? Jesus or Barabbas?”
When li’l Jack heard this question, he felt a deep push within himself…
… he was getting very emotional… he was feeling a sense of urge to defend Jesus…
The Pilate on stage, went on shouting “Jesus or Barabbas….Jesus or Barabbas”…
Finally, being unable to control his emotions, Jack got up from his seat, and shouted aloud: ” I am for Jesus!”
His parents did not realise how to react to this emotional outburst of their li’l son…
… so too the others who were sitting around them.
But Jack went on shouting, with more boldness: “I am for Jesus… I am for Jesus!”
The play had to have an abrupt break…
… but in the meanwhile, many other people also joined the enthusiastic cry of li’l Jack and blended with his chorus: “I am for Jesus!”
Are you for Jesus?
Christian life is a warfare…
… with a constant question posing us…”Are you for Jesus?”
The Gospel of Day is an invitation by Jesus to follow Him – by the “narrow gate”
>> Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate… for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt 7: 13-14)
The Sermon on the Mount continues with Jesus presenting the wonderful message of the Kingdom of God and its radical requirements.
One of the key aspects in the Sermon on the Mount is the demand made on the part of the disciple to “make a choice”
• One has to radically “make a choice” for the Kingdom of God.
• One has to stay committed to this “choice” that is taken and live it to the fullness.
The discipleship to which Jesus calls is radical…
… it requires an honest and wholehearted surrender of oneself to God’s Will
… it demands a complete and undivided focus on Him and His Mission
A Christian either walks on the road to life…
… or walks on the road to destruction!
>> There is no third alternative!
It is this “choice” that will determine whether our entry to eternity…
>> Eternal condemnation – is through the “wide gate” or
>> Eternal life – is through the “narrow gate”.
Jesus says that it is easy to pass through the wide gate…
• All those who take life very casually and without any responsibility
• All those who are content to make life “merry” and just “live life to the max”
• All those who fail to respond to God’s Grace and deny having a life in Him
>> But this will lead to doom and condemnation!
To pass through the narrow gate is hard…
• All those who make a choice to live according to the teachings of the Lord
• All those who boldly seek to proclaim the Kingdom by their faithful and holy lives
• All those who constantly hold on to the Lord despite hardships and difficulties in life
>> But this will lead to joy and eternal life!
Christian life is indeed a warfare…
… and we are constantly posed this question: “Are you for Jesus?”
What is our answer?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
– Fr Jijo Manjackal MSFS