How do we go about being human?
The first step is just to be aware that we are one.
We don’t act like animals because we are very aware (once we are adults, at least) that, unlike them, we can understand what we do and make free choices. This gives us a special relationship with everything and everyone we interact with. A relationship of conscious responsibility.
We are authentically human when we act out of awareness of the special relationship we have with God, and with everything God made, because of understanding and free will. We know our being, our existence, our life comes from him, and that we are responsible for using it the way he wants. This is the dawn of “conscience.” It implies “consciousness,” awareness.
We are authentically adults when we form adult relationships with others by interacting with them as reasonable – and responsible – human beings.
We are authentic family members when we take conscious responsibility for interacting with relatives according to the relationship we have with them as father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, or seventeenth cousin once removed.
We are authentic in our work when we act consciously and responsibly according to the relationship with others our job description describes. When we deliver what they count on – as president or janitor, salesperson, accountant or manager.
And we are authentically Christian when we take conscious responsibility for acting as Jesus Christ. By Baptism we “became Christ.” So we need to be Christ in all our interactions with others.
It’s all a matter of relationships. And relationships are formed through interaction.
A truly Christian relationship exists when two or more people interact with each other as Jesus interacting with Jesus.
For all of this to happen, the first step is to cultivate awareness. To keep ourselves conscious of our graced identity – the identity we have through “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
That grace is the favor of becoming Christ by Baptism and sharing in his own divine life. As branches share in the life of the vine. As members share in the life of the body (John 15:5; 1Corinthians 12:12; Romans 12:4).
Just as branches grafted onto a grape vine become a grape vine and bear grapes as fruit, so we who have been baptized into Christ become Christ and bear in our lives the fruit Christ bears. The angel who said to Mary, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb” says to us “Blessed is the fruit of your life.” It is divine.
But only if we keep ourselves aware that we have “become Christ” and let him do everything we do with us, in us and through us.
Awareness is the key to it all.
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