We are exploring the notion of personhood and its relationship to love. Yesterday, we asked how we can be united to others without losing our identity? Today we will explore this by looking at our union with Christ.
We are united to Christ though love – his love for us first, and our response. By love, we choose independently to unite ourselves to the loved one. We do not lose our independence; rather we express it through our free choice to give ourself to the other and receive the other into ourself. This is what Christ did in becoming man. It is an unfathomable mystery, but nonetheless true: he became man and in so doing, he chose freely to share his very being with us. Since his resurrection and ascension, this takes place sacramentally, through Baptism and the Eucharist; but we are not meant to be passive recipients of this great gift. Love engenders a response and we respond to the love of Christ for us by our life of prayer and faith – and simply by giving our whole selves to him. In this way we grow in our relationship with him and realise ever more fully that in his birth we are born; with his life we live; and in his death we die. We exist authentically as persons with a vital interior life because and by means of his love for us. The French Jesuit Henri de Lubac (1896 – 1991), one of the great theologians of the twentieth century, says simply: ‘We are fully persons only within the Person of the Son. He will never cease to make us complete, to make us persons in himself.’