1) TO KNOW
It is common for some children to want to have the costume of one of their superheroes. They are seen dressed as spiderman, spider-man, batman, or another. They often admire their strength or skill. Older people admire people of power or money. However, it will not be possible to imitate someone better than Jesus Christ. Saint Paul invites us to have the same sentiments as Christ, and he himself has seen a transformation in himself:
“With Christ I am crucified; and I live, but not I, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2,20). For this reason, the Church invites us to a profound identification with Christ. Pope Francis points out that through the Liturgy this identification is achieved. Well, forming ourselves in the sense of the Liturgy, does not “consist in a mental assimilation of an idea, but in a real existential involvement with his person”. Through the liturgical celebration the Holy Spirit acts in us “until Christ is formed in us” (cf. Gal 4,19).
This identification with Christ is very deep, since it is not limited to resembling or doing similar things, but in a spiritual and mysterious way, Christ is and acts in us. It is a question, says the Pope, of becoming Christ. This transformation in Christ goes beyond our strength and possibilities, which is why the action of the Holy Spirit is necessary and essential, who works in each liturgical celebration (Cf. Desiderio desideravi, n. 41).
2) TO THINK
Saint Benito José Labre was known as the “holy beggar”, because he renounced everything and lived begging for alms. He grew in holiness by devoting himself to God and others. What he collected as alms he gave to other poor people.
When they died with a reputation for sanctity, they wanted an image of him but they didn’t have any. Then someone remembered that an artist, André Bley, had chosen him as a model to represent Christ, because he had been surprised that his face betrayed an intense spirituality. Somehow, he thought, that man is another Christ not only in his deeds, but even physically. And with the face of Christ, they found that of the saint.
Identification with Christ is carried out by the Holy Spirit in our soul. It is certainly a very high goal to be able to act like Jesus, think like Jesus, heal like Jesus, give hope and joy to hearts, as he did. But it is a goal worth living for.
3) TO LIVE
“To strive for perfection, one must clothe oneself with the Spirit of Christ” said Saint Vincent de Paul. Just as in the Holy Mass the Holy Spirit acts to transform the bread into the Body of Christ, so the Holy Spirit acts in each baptism to transform the creature into part of the Mystical Body of Christ, and is already part of the Church, is Church. A unity that must grow ever greater, reaching its fullness in eternal life.
In each Sacrament the Holy Spirit carries out his work of sanctifying the person. With this we glimpse how essential it is to go to the Sacraments to receive from the Holy Spirit the grace that he sanctifies us and conforms us with Christ. This is how it is understood what was written by Saint Leo the Great: “Our participation in the Body and Blood of Christ does not tend to anything else but to become what we eat”.