“Only Christ gives meaning to the whole of our life. Fr. Giussani always kept the eyes of his life and of his heart fixed on Christ. In this way, he under- stood that Christianity is not an intellectual system, a packet of dogmas, a moralism, Christianity is rather an encounter, a love story; it is an event.” (J. Ratzing- er, Homily at the Funeral of Fr. Giussani, February 24, 2005, in The Work of the Movement, p. 297)
Christianity is a love story. What a powerful statement. This person came to us, lived with us, breathed with us, died for us, and brought us new life because He loved us.
It is so easy to make Christianity about rules and regulations. And though I hate to say this, it is so easy to make Christianity a popularity contest. Look at how well I follow the rules. Look at all the things I do. Look at how good of a christian I am.
But this misses the point entirely. Jesus didn’t come to be the most popular. On the contrary, he was quite the opposite. Not only was he born on the outskirts of town, but he was from the super out there parts… Nazareth. *shudder*. I mean… I’ve never been there but from what I gather, he wasn’t really the coolest kid on the block. He lived an ordinary life. Learned a trade from his adopted father Joseph. Then went out and hung out with people. He talked to them. Welcomed them back into his parents home for dinner (probably). Walked with them. Listened to their sorrows. Mended their broken hearts. Healed their weary souls.
This is the point. Jesus met people where they were at, and loved them. These encounters changed them, and made them want to tell everyone to come and see what this guy was all about.
I want to be like that. When I should be doing chores, I want to take the phone call of the friend in need. When I want to be watching netflix, I want to open my doors and welcome people to share in my family, in my small community located in the back corner of the condo complex that their GPS won’t be able to find. When I don’t want to wake up early, I want to rise and make my morning an offering for someone else.
I want everyone in my life to come to know Jesus because they have spent time with me. This is the true spirit of Christianity. A living, breathing, encounter that brings each of us closer to Christ with each dinner, cup of coffee, or letter written.
I want this Christianity.
I want this love story.