CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life

Education Day 2015 - Sunday 27 September 2015 


Jesus is Life


Life has its ups and downs. It is full of uncertainty and surprises, both good and ones we would rather do without. But by embracing life in times of doubt and uncertainty, the richness of our response can unfold new horizons of great blessing.  

Pope Francis assures us, “We know well that with Jesus life becomes richer and that with him it is easier to find meaning in everything.”

Life and Hope in Jesus

In both good times and bad, Jesus refers to himself as the Good Shepherd. He never deserts his flock and is ready to lay down his life to protect it. As the Son of God, he once walked on this earth, experiencing injustice, false accusations and eventually the cruellest of deaths. But he always had hope, even when things looked hopeless.

In being raised to a new life, he is the inspiration for the life and hope of humankind, which both encourages and impels us to renew our own ways. Pope Francis tells us, “Jesus is a teacher of truth and life, who shows us the way that leads to happiness.”

Abundant Life in Jesus

Those who do not believe may jeer at Christians, labelling their lives as dull, strict and rigid, humourless and unrewarding. They may even feel sorry for them, as the priorities of a Christian life seem only to be an expectation of something to come. Yes, true Christians do exercise self-control, give up things that at least look good, and prioritise work, pray and serve others.

But from another perspective, Christians are positive. Not putting material gain on the top of their priority list does bring a freedom. They believe that there is a purpose in their presence in this world. The sense of Jesus among them motivates. Pope Francis remarks, “The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love” and, “A Christian is never bored or sad. Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy.”

There may not be a lot of awareness that Jesus Christ came into this world as a man to show us how to live an abundant and fulfilling life. But it is stated plainly in John 10:10, “I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Following him will lead to an enviable and full life, one beyond imagination. That is the promise.

Knowing and loving God, upholding personal integrity, cherishing human relationships and committing to the service of others, all contribute to a most meaningful and happy life. A genuine Christian life can be more joyful, rewarding and satisfying than most can imagine. Although self-restraint and responsibility may not sound attractive, over a lifetime the blessing of being with God can satisfy more than freedom without consideration. 

Jesus as the Meaning of Life

Affluent Hong Kong is a strong temptation to consumerism, hedonism and moral relativism. It has produced an insatiable quest for physical pleasure, a growing deterioration of ethics and a weakening moral sense. It is a lure to the love of a counterfeit life, which places its hope in wealth and exchanges what is right for what feels good.  It invites people into a superficial arena of moral discernment, but an education in critical thinking can develop moral values that pull us out of this mire.

Pope Francis reiterates the aim of Catholic education as the full development of the person. A Catholic school should also offer the chance of faith by presenting Jesus as the meaning of life, but with full respect for the freedom of each person. But this is a challenge. The pope stresses that every educator and the Church as a whole must change and learn how to communicate effectively with young minds. Indeed, to know and love Christ, young people need to know the essence of the gospel. It is not only something right and true, but beautiful, capable of filling life with new splendour and profound joy, even in the midst of difficulties.

Pope Francis gives students valuable advice, “Dear young people, Christ asks you to be wide awake and alert, to see the things in life that really matter”, and also, “Let us not be satisfied with a mediocre life. Be amazed by what is true and beautiful, what is of God!”


Catholic Education Office
Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong

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