“Are you alive in Christ?” There was a decently loud response from the crowd, a rumbling of “Yes.”
Fr. Agustino Torres wasn’t satisfied with that response, though, and so he asked again, even louder this time, “Are you alive in Christ?” A louder “Yes” resounded through the crowd. Still not good enough, though.
“ARE YOU ALIVE IN CHRIST?” Finally, a thunderous “Yes” rolled through the field house along with loud screaming and applause.
This sequence of questions and responses took place last weekend at a Steubenville Youth Conference during the Sunday morning homily. There were about 1,000 people in that field house who, yes, were certainly alive in Christ at that moment. It’s hard not to be after all that had happened over the weekend.
Fr. Agustino cautioned us, though, as we still needed to be alive in Christ after we left the conference and every day after.
So what does it mean to be alive in Christ? Each person’s journey, their following of Christ, is going to look a little different so every person’s answer is going to be different and that’s okay.
Generally, I would say that being alive in Christ has a few main pieces, such as: prayer, Scripture and the sacraments. All of these graces will give us the strength to be in relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and to truly be alive in Him.
How does all of this relate to today’s Scripture readings? I look toward the Gospel and I am reminded of some simple truths of our faith. The person of Jesus Christ, the person that we are alive in, so many people in his day sought to put Him to death because what He was teaching was so counter-cultural. Does this fact remind you of anything? As Catholic Christians, most of what we believe and teach is counter-cultural and our culture tries to cancel us – to put our beliefs to death, in a way – for doing so.
Even as the Pharisees were seeking to put Jesus to death, many people still chose to follow Him. Many people were alive in Christ as they followed Him!
This is a reality that we must face if we are truly to be alive in Jesus, that people will seek to pull us down. But our strength lies in the graces that we receive and in the person who is greater than all things. Our strength, our life, lies in Jesus Christ.
Erin Madden is a Cleveland native and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is passionate about the Lord Jesus, all things college sports and telling stories and she is blessed enough to get paid for all three of her passions. You can catch her on old episodes of the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter@erinmadden2016.
Feature Image Credit: Knut Troim, https://unsplash.com/photos/uu-_JuKe3P8